Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 16th Feb 2007 21:38 UTC, submitted by deanna
OpenBSD Greg Kroah-Hartman's announcement for free Linux driver development included the necesssary legal framework to honor NDAs when creating GPL'd drivers. This allowance was discussed on the OpenBSD -misc mailing list. In a public exchange with Greg KH, Stephan Rickauer said: "Now these companies have a great excuse to keep specs locked up tight under NDA, while pretending to be 'open'. The OpenBSD project has made clear more than once how this will hurt Free Software in the long run. Signing NDA's ensures that Linux gets a working driver, sure, but the internals are indistinguishable from magic. It is a source code version of a blob." OpenBSD founder Theo de Raadt called the free driver effort a farce, "you are trying to make sure that maintainers of code - i.e. any random joe who wants to improve the code in the future - has less access to docs later on because someone signed an NDA to write it in the first place. You are making a very big mistake."
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BSD Licensing
by hackus on Sat 17th Feb 2007 19:12 UTC
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I can't argue with the point that NDA's don't offer much more freedom when applied to source code either.

Being a heavy GPL V3 proponent, I think the only real restrictions we need are those that prevent human greed and locking up tech markets through the Microsoft/Intel cartel.

My only opposition to the BSD camp is that they do not see a problem with human greed or the problems my industry has in the USA and actually seek to enhance the problem with the non restrictive license they have in place.

What has to happen is the abolishment of the Patent system in the industrial computing complex.

Without completely open hardware specs to write software against, we are going to end up with really poorly qualified people writing these drivers and all of us suffering for it.

Its really quite sad and it is all due to human greed and nothing else.


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