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SubjectThe i2o Bus: A Conspiracy Against Free Software? (fwd)

This is not kernel related. But, I believe that it could become so if
this closed-standard IO technology becomes a standard. Frankly, I'm so
disturbed by it that I can't even discuss it. Someone please tell me this
is a joke or I'm reading it wrong.

B. James Phillippe Seattle Software Labs, Inc
Network Administrator Phone: (206) 521-8346
NIC Handle: BJP4 Fax: (206) 521-8340

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 17 Jul 1997 23:04:11 -0700 (PDT)
From: David Mandel <>
To: Portland Linux User Group <>,
Seattle Linux Users Group <>
Subject: The i2o Bus: A Conspiracy Against Free Software? (fwd)

The following appeared in the Corvallis LUG mailing list.
It seems worth forwarding, as things like this need to concern
freeware developers/users/advocates everywhere.
There are times we need to be better politicians.
You see Bill Gates playing golf with the President and Vice President.
However, you rarely see Linus, Richard Stallman, Richie, Thompson,
or any other technically innovative people doing this.

Dave Mandel

David Mandel, Linux Activist
Internet Provided by: Transport Logic (503) 243-1940
Serving the Pacific Northwestern USA
Portland * Vancouver * McMinnville * Salem * Bend

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 17 Jul 1997 00:48:15 -0700 (PDT)
From: Phil Agre <>
Subject: The i2o Bus: A Conspiracy Against Free Software?
Resent-Date: Thu, 17 Jul 1997 08:06:19 -0700
Resent-From: (John Sechrest) <>

[This is forwarded from permission from the debian-devel mailing list.
As the RRE subscriber who forwarded it explained, "Bruce Perens is the
project leader and chair of Software in the Public Interest, the nonprofit
organization formed to support a commercial quality free distribution of
Linux." See]

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The i2o Bus: A Conspiracy Against Free Software?

Bruce Perens (
Wed, 16 Jul 97 11:40 PDT

Check out "i2o" is a developing "non-proprietary"
standard for high-performance computer peripherals. Unfortunately, it's a
closed standard, it requires a NDA, and you need a license to develop
software for it. Their terms are:

Membership is $5000/year.
You can't develop software or hardware for it without being a member.
You can't disclose source code for your drivers.
You must stop making hardware or software for it if you lose membership.
Members can vote out other members.

The backers of this are Microsoft, Novell, Hewlet-Packard, and NETFrame.
It looks as if the i2o agreements are deliberately written to exclude free

I suspect that if i2o peripherals become popular, free operating systems
will be locked out from running on PC hardware.

Please take a look at this and give me a reality check.


Bruce Perens
Debian Project Leader

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