Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 6th Apr 2007 13:14 UTC, submitted by detonator
OpenBSD "I, Michael Buesch, am one of the maintainers of the GPL'd Linux wireless LAN driver for the Broadcom chip (bcm43xx). The Copyright holders of bcm43xx (which includes me) want to talk to you, OpenBSD bcw developers, about possible GPL license and therefore copyright violations in your bcw driver. We believe that you might have directly copied code out of bcm43xx (licensed under GPL v2), without our explicit permission, into bcw (licensed under BSD license)." The entire thread can be found here.
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In all fairness, as I read the thread, it was Theo who started to state, that Micheal Buesch et al make the implication :

GPL license violation == thief

Examples for this behavior:

Michael, you bloody implied it. Your entire posting translates to "thief".

which I quoted from this post [1], other examples of Theo accusing everybody else from implicitly equating license violation with theft are for example [2]

That is a complete lie. You called him a thief, and PRESUMED that he did it on purpose. In later mails privately to me you said that you did not call him a thief of even imply it (I quote, "the word thief was not even in my mind when I wrote it"), but then in your next public mail you directly contradicted that again by saying you are completely convinced he did it on purpose. You cannot have it both ways; there is only one interpretation, that being that you are accusing him of theft, just in other words.

which is from [2]. I'm pretty sure you can find other instances too.

I try to do not take sides in this issue, as I think,
that the license violation should be out of discussion (the GPL kicks in at distribution, whether the code works, is functional or not, period) and both sides have not acted very luckily.

But I can't help to think, that while I would have prefered too to be addressed in private first, the fact that the code was already out in the wild under a incompatible and more permissive license
without the attribution of the rightful copyright holders makes it understandable, that they tried to inform all involved parties (note the explanation/motivation for the CC list here [3]), so yeah, going public is a valid option.

Furthermore, note that if they "really" wanted to go full public, they could have sent out a statement to the tech press instead or blogged about it (or even submitted it to /. ). THAT would have been clearly over the top.

The step to take the matters in a first step to mailing list instead of starting with a private notification may also have something to do with previous bad blood between the wireless teams at the OpenBSD and Linux camps, but that is just my interpretation. (see the sub-thread in reply to [4])


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