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 gsyoungblood on Fri 6th Apr 2007 17:13 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: re"
gsyoungblood
Member since:
2007-01-09

THey have no problem with Broadcom making better drivers. What they have a problem with is Broadcom appropriating THEIR work without appropriate compensation to use for whatever purpose, whether that be better drivers or not.

The key phrase, "appropriate compensation," is what matters. In their case, that compensation might simply be the release of the new driver source code back to the community, it does not have to be monetary in nature.

I don't follow this particular vendor, but some hardware manufacturer's are notoriously closed about their hardware and the specs needed to write good drivers. Assuming Broadcom is one of those companies, why should they be permitted to take the hard work of another group that wants their code open, use it for Broadcom's benefit without complying with the terms of the original authors and closing the code?

Suppose the reverse engineered driver doesn't take advantage of something in the chipset because Broadcom didn't release the specs. Broadcom takes the bcm43xx code, adds support for that special chipset, making the driver work a little better. Only now, instead of releasing that change back to the community under the terms of the GPL, they keep it closed. Broadcom benefits at the expense of the original developer's work.

To me, it doesn't matter what license you work with, GPL, LGPL, BSD, Artistic, whatever. If you are using code, respect the license that code was created under. If the license won't work for what you want to do with it, contact the license holders and ask to license it differently.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[4]: re
by antik on Fri 6th Apr 2007 17:20 in reply to "RE[3]: re"
antik Member since:
2006-05-19

Broadcom takes the bcm43xx code, adds support for that special chipset, making the driver work a little better. Only now, instead of releasing that change back to the community under the terms of the GPL, they keep it closed.

Do they(Broadcom) care at all if it is GPL or BSD licensed code? How can you tell if they actually used/embraced FREE code or not?

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: re
by Oliver on Fri 6th Apr 2007 17:26 in reply to "RE[3]: re"
Oliver Member since:
2006-07-15

The can steal "ideas" from the code, whenever they want to. So it's nonsense to talk about protecting the code. It's one mistake on the OpenBSD side and hate on the other side. Man to man would be the right way, not this childish behaviour!

Reply Parent Score: 2