[linux-elitists] Fwd: Copyright infringement in linux/drivers/usb/serial/keyspan*fw.h

Brooklyn Linux Solutions CEO ruben@mrbrklyn.com
Tue Apr 24 10:10:14 PDT 2001

<<Probably none: >>

Yes - but that doesn't matter.   Nobody is writing an image, they are
writing an interface to the image.

<<isn't this just another form of "hardware vendors won't
release necessary information to permit development of a free driver"?>>

No, IMO it is not.  It's not even a derived work of the image.  The
interface is completely allowed as free software and the image is just a
device with levers to be pulled.  Alan Cox is right when he says that this
is just agregation.

If a company has such a firmware image, it would be bigoted IMO to turn
down their cooperation when they make such an image available and then not
use it.  If you want a Free Image, by all means - reverse engineer the
device or the image.

this issue is no different then a scanner which is twain standard.  As long
as it is standard, the engineering in the Scanners ROMS are of no real
import in writing a scanner driver.

Now - this all begs the question, is open hardware important?  Hell yeah. 
Hardware obscurity is best defeated with actual specs for the Hardware
itself.  Under the current conditions, this is not happening as frequently
as we need.  Debian holding it's nose until it turns blue on it's face is
not going to change that, nor is it going to play into the hands of free
software....it plays into the hands of Microsoft.

the can keep hardware unavaible with close sourced openly documented
"images" fast than we can clean room crack them.....

Bet on that....

<<Remember that it's rarely, lately, "hardware vendors won't release
necessary information to permit development of a driver"; it's much
more often been "hardware vendors won't release necessary information
to permit development of a free driver".>>

The driver IS free.  The Image is other...

<I know it _looks_ kind of like a free driver, >>

Not quite right .... It is a free driver.

<but remember that, for
some purposes, the license content is much more important than the

Yes - and in this case the driver would be free and the image is licensed
under a closed license.  This level of co-operation is common and necessary
in the Kernel and the software.

OTOH - if all USB drivers (for example), work only through closed sourced
images, Linux is in a very weak position and something needs to be done
about that.

These images can have DMCA encryption put on them and extort the entire OS.


Brooklyn Linux Solutions


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