"NVIDIA’s fully featured Linux graphics driver is provided as binary-only because it contains intellectual property NVIDIA wishes to protect, both in hardware and in software"
“The NVidia driver is the single component in a KDE4 / Free Operating system stack causing us most of the hard-to-solve problems. In other words, nvidia.ko has grave technical shortcomings.”
Sebastian Kügler, KDE Developer.
“The great advantage of the Open Source development model is that it is driven by considerations of technical excellence, so if you give people enough information, they’ll not only assist you writing the driver, they’ll even help you design it.”
“[...] binary drivers totally negate the shared support and maintenance burden which is what makes Open Source so compelling. Additionally, there is also a drag effect these binary drivers have on the rest of the ecosystem: for instance, Fedora was under enormous pressure not to release Fedora 9 until there was a solution that allowed it to run with the Nvidia binary driver (Fedora chose to ship with a pre-release of the X windows system which Nvidia refused to support and because the driver was binary Fedora couldn’t simply fix the problems and ship anyway).”
James Bottomley. Linux Foundation Technical Advisory Board Chair and SCSI Maintainer. Linux Graphics Essay.