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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RE[3]: re
by tony on Fri 6th Apr 2007 15:14 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: re"
tony
Member since:
2005-07-06

We, GPL people, won't allow Broadcom to make better drivers for Windows and OSX.

That would be true, if the GPL authors somehow obtained the authority to prevent broadcom and others from writing better drivers. The GPL nor the authors have that authority, nor are they attempting in this case to obtain or perpetrate such authority.

A better translation might be:

We, GPL people, won't allow Broadcom to make better drivers based on our work.

That's a far more accurate assessment, and something within their rights as copyright holders who are free to license the code in whatever manner they feel is appropriate.

This is the nastiest philosophical difference between BSD and GPL style licenses. BSD code is written to be benfitting anyone (including users of propieritary products); GPL code is meant for GPL camp only. I understand (and respect) GPL ideology and I'm not against using it for standalone applications, but for drivers it is not the best license. Like noted above by someone - drivers need to be in public domain.

The way I see it, I'm glad there are both GPL and BSD licenses. That is the true freedom. Freedom to license the code and have it used in the manner you think best is appropriate.

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