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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RE[11]: I agree with..
by hackus on Sat 17th Feb 2007 19:56 UTC in reply to "RE[10]: I agree with.."
hackus
Member since:
2006-06-28

I would argue that there is a lot of evidence too suggest that BSD style licenses allow companies to further thier goals of flooding the world with patent laden products.

What if I said I have 3 investors for my new patented OS I am building for the embedded market. The lawyer tells me we can't give you any money unless you come up a proof of concept in 4 months.

I get sad....but then! I get happy! You see I live in a BSD style universe.

In a BSD universe, I just pull a huge ton of the non patented parts of my OS together, and then do the hard patented stuff in 1 month.

Compare that with a GPLv3 universe. It would be impossible.

I am not sure what parts you think I am BS'ing.

As you point out, BSD is an Anarchal license. I am not so sure anarchy is what this industry needs right now.

:-)

-Hack

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE[12]: I agree with..
by dylansmrjones on Sun 18th Feb 2007 15:33 in reply to "RE[11]: I agree with.."
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

You cannot (in theory at least) patent the part that uses BSD-code due to prior art.

OTOH nothing prevents you from patenting GPL'ed code, you have written. You just have to understand that releasing it under the GPL equals granting a right to use your patented code.

Besides that nobody uses software patents today - except for the large software companies who are using patents as the software equivalent of the A-Bomb.

The major part of the world doesn't even support software patents - and the major part of software innovation happens in countries without software patents. From an IT-perspective USA has become irrelevant. India, China and Europe are much more important.

Reply Parent Score: 2