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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Theo is wrong
by rexstuff on Fri 6th Apr 2007 14:52 UTC
rexstuff
Member since:
2007-04-06

I'm not a fan of the GPL, but I've been following the development of the bcm43xx for a long time (I wrote a HOWTO for 2.6.15), and aside from a few isolated incidents, I've always been impressed with the development process of Michael & crew. Reading the email list and the responses, I cannot help but be shocked and appalled by the behaviour and pettiness of Theo. I knew that he had a reputation for high-handed drama, but I had always retained a grat deal of respect for him for running the OpenBSD project. No attempt is made by Theo or the others to work with the bcm43xx developers, after it has been clearly shown that they are in the wrong. GPL code has been copied verbatim and placed under the BSD liscence. If the code was being 'borrowed', to be used as a placeholder while development on bcw went ahead, ok, but Marcus should have contacted the bcm43xx crew first before comitting it to the OpenBSD tree. When Michael brought this to light, Theo complained that it was done too publicly, (seemingly intentionally) taking much of Michael's message out of context, resorting to ad hominem attacks, and eventually shutting down bcw development, blaming bcm43xx for the whole issue when it was his own developer that had created the problem in the first place!

Let's look at this from another angle - what if Sun took some bcm43xx and placed it under their CDDL liscence? What would have been the community reaction then? Are we just whining because we see OpenBSD as 'the underdog'? Even underdogs have to play by the rules.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Theo is wrong
by TheMonoTone on Fri 6th Apr 2007 15:01 in reply to "Theo is wrong"
TheMonoTone Member since:
2006-01-01

If you bother to read the list, as I have, you'd see that someone made a mistake of copying. No doubt thats somewhat of a big blunder to make, copying GPL code, I won't even begin to argue that one. Theo tends to exasperate on the mailing lists no doubt.

The big point he made though, which I agree with, the public ousting should've gone private first then public. It appears the developers of the BCM linux driver had no intention of firing off a curteous warning shot. No, they as Theo put it, went right for the jugular of public humiliation.

Should all be forgiven for what appears to be blatent copying and relicensing? No, of course not.

Should this have been in the public view without a curteous warning? I think no, others may differ on that. It could've easily been resolved privately before any of this hoobla ever hit the street

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Theo is wrong
by Tweek on Sat 7th Apr 2007 01:52 in reply to "RE: Theo is wrong"
Tweek Member since:
2006-01-12

I find the "copied by mistake" arguement to be total bullshit, that simply shouldnt happen. That is blatant lie first of all...

"No, they as Theo put it, went right for the jugular of public humiliation." i find this bit humorous, the pot calling the kettle black. Doesnt make it any more right, but lets not pretend that theo would have been level headed about it, as another poster said, fire and brim stone would have been involved and i believe it.

Reply Parent Score: 2