Pressuring NVIDIA

NVIDIA is currently maybe more interested to be seen as a good and trustworthy company than ever, because of the ongoing ARM deal. So it is maybe a good time to pressure NVIDIA to open source some drivers for their older GPU models (models like the GT710 and GT730 are still produced and one of the few GPUs without any unfree firmware, unfortunately the Nouveau drivers could be better).

Lets say NVIDIA would get portrayed on sites like Twitter and Reddit as suspicious or untrustworthy by a lot of people, because they open source way less than their competition (AMD and Intel) and people of the open source community would actively ask parts of the UK government (they would need to agree to the ARM deal) not to trust NVIDIA. This could maybe put enough pressure on NVIDIA to open source some things. But this would of cause only work, if enough people would participate in this and tell others to participate.

Also other deals that NVIDIA maybe wants to do and that need the agreement of a government or organization that is interested in the public opinion could be used to pressure NVIDIA.

Are you interested in this?

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If that approach worked, Microsoft Windows would have been Free Software by now.

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It’s a nice thought, but just isn’t going to happen. Nvidia’s customer base is almost entirely gamers running Windows who don’t care about open source, or miners who also don’t care about open source.

Pressuring Nvidia might work, since the company have already started to share documentation on its newer GPUs and it sees that AMD is starting to steal its market share in the Linux market. The problem in the past was that Nvidia didn’t care about desktop Linux users (although it did care a lot about the compute and supercomputer market which uses Linux). I think that you are right that we do have more leverage now that Nvidia is trying to convince the world that it will be a good steward of ARM, so it is worth attempting to pressure Nvidia.

I recommend talking to a number of organizations and seeing you can’t a number of organizations to join together in a coordinated online petition campaign. If you want to get Purism the company to officially support such a campaign, you should try to talk to Purism employees on the Matrix channel.

I know that I would sign a petition asking Nvidia to release the documentation for its older GPUs, and I’m sure that many others on this forum would as well.

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