Andrew S. Tanenbaum, creator of MINIX, has published an open letter to Intel regarding Intel’s use of MINIX in the IME:
The only thing that would have been nice is that after the project had been finished and the chip deployed, that someone from Intel would have told me, just as a courtesy, that MINIX 3 was now probably the most widely used operating system in the world on x86 computers. That certainly wasn’t required in any way, but I think it would have been polite to give me a heads up, that’s all.
If nothing else, this bit of news reaffirms my view that the Berkeley license provides the maximum amount of freedom to potential users. If they want to publicize what they have done, fine. By all means, do so. If there are good reasons not to release the modified code, that’s fine with me, too.
I can still barely believe this whole story.
When I was reading the news especially since I had been involved in a similar project to use hypervisors/microkernel for management of sort that Intel is doing in ME, I was expecting to see a reaction from Minix team. Intel could have done better by at least giving credit to these people. It is a very hard task to develop at that level and having more people in be trained in that system level could be potentially beneficial for Intel and the whole community. Boy, I still do not get it why none Intel nor AMD nor motherboard developers could see a potential in having an Open BIOS! Coreboot and similar projects need a big push.
“Berkeley license provides the maximum amount of freedom to potential users” While that may be true, it does nothing to protect freedoms transitively (Intel’s users in this case). As we can see with this story, the end result was a reduction of the end user’s freedom to use/trust his computing device.