Eskild Hustvedt

Proprietary webcam driver wonders

My girlfriend has a builtin webcam on her new x86_64 laptop. The webcam has no free drivers, but there is a proprietary one available on

Pay 10EUR and you get the driver. Okay, doesn’t sound /so/ bad. But the driver is only available for x86 ubuntu gutsy, no other arch, no other distro, no other kernel. If you want it for /your/ kernel you have to pay 100EUR. Wonderful. There’s no way I’m paying 100EUR for a proprietary webcam driver. Buying a new, working, webcam would even be cheaper! She runs x86_64 so there’s no way to get that driver working there, without paying that 100EUR. The camera is Bus 005 Device 002: ID 0c45:624f Microdia.

If someone does decide to write a free GPLd driver for it, I’ll donate some money to that person (I don’t have 100EUR to give away, but I can do at least 30-50EUR).

This again goes to show the pain of proprietary drivers. I don’t mind paying for drivers, but when the drivers cost more than the device did, and a device working equally well would be cheaper than buying the drivers it has gone too far. I would have easily donated money if the page said “here’s the driver, it’s GPL so do what you want, but please donate 10EUR if you can” (and I have donated to FOSS projects before).

Update, see: