Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 13th Jun 2006 11:59 UTC, submitted by SEJeff
Linux KernelTrap reports on an interesting discussion on the lkml. The specific topic is the legality of the ACX1xx wireless driver, which, according to Andrew Morton, will be included in the next kernel release (2.6.18). Jeff Garzik opened the discussion: "I've never had technical objections to merging this, just AFAIK it had a highly questionable origin, namely being reverse-engineered in a non-clean-room environment that might leave Linux legally vulnerable." Christopher Hellwig posed an interesting point: "Please don't let this reverse engineering idiocy hinder wireless driver adoption, we're already falling far behind OpenBSD who are very successfully reverse engineering lots of wireless chipsets."
Thread beginning with comment 132919
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Reverse Engineering
by ZaNkY on Tue 13th Jun 2006 12:44 UTC
ZaNkY
Member since:
2005-10-18

it IS possible afaik, but I guess it has to do with pride. "I reverse engineered my OWN drivers! yay!" or something along those lines.

Besides, Reverse Engineering is GREAT cause it gives you more experience with hardware programing, something tha I feel EVERY OS writer should have and keep dear to his heart ;)

Video card drivers would be GREAT, except I think there are slightly more restrictions, and there would be a more aggresive response. For example, to just DOWNLOAD nvidia drivers, you have to agree to a licence, which includes a "I promise not to reverse engineer..." section.

Overall I think that this is great. More people should reverse engineer! We need help!

--ZaNkY

Reply Score: 1

RE: Reverse Engineering
by agentj on Tue 13th Jun 2006 12:47 in reply to "Reverse Engineering"
agentj Member since:
2005-08-19

> "I promise not to reverse engineer..." section.

Please SiS and ASUS, I give you my laptop with crap SiS 740 onboard and you'll give me back 2500$ I paid for it.

Edited 2006-06-13 12:47

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Reverse Engineering
by Tweek on Tue 13th Jun 2006 14:02 in reply to "Reverse Engineering"
Tweek Member since:
2006-01-12

That license wont apply to many people though. They reverse engineer it with the clean room approach and give the specs to someone else.

Not much can be done, you cant apply a license to someone when their laws dont allow for click thru licenses.

Many people in the world can legally ignore that license and reverse engineer it. Then give those specs to someone (who would normally be required to abide by the license, but whom the license no longer applies to since they never actually touched the original licensed driver)

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Reverse Engineering
by dylansmrjones on Tue 13th Jun 2006 17:48 in reply to "Reverse Engineering"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

For example, to just DOWNLOAD nvidia drivers, you have to agree to a licence, which includes a "I promise not to reverse engineer..." section.

This doesn't mean much in countries where you have a specific right to reverse engineer.

The MS EULA is mostly void in Denmark, since the copyright is pretty much limited to distribution (e.g. "copying").

What I do with it on my own machine is my decision, and whatever knowledge I trip over, is shareable as I see fit. However I cannot distribute the original driver, unless the license grants me that right. I can however do pretty much anything else, no matter the license.

Reply Parent Score: 1