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SubjectRe: Intel also needs convincing on firmware licensing.

Just one statement (below)...

Gene Heskett wrote:
> On Wednesday 27 October 2004 22:25, Han Boetes wrote:
>>The people from the OpenBSD project are currently lobbying to get
>>the firmware for Intel wireless chipsets under a license suitable
>>for Open Source.
>>Since this will not only benefit BSD but also the Linux Project (and
>>even Intel) I would like to mention the URL here for people who want
>>to help writing to Intel.
> Please be aware that for the so-called "software radios"
> chips/chipsets, the FCC, and other similar regulating bodies in other
> countries has made access to the data quite restrictive in an attempt
> to keep the less ruly among us from putting them on frequencies they
> aren't authorized to use, or to set the power levels above whats
> allowed. These restrictions can vary from governing body to
> governing body so the software is generally supplied according to
> where the chipset is being shipped. The potential for mischief, and
> legal/monetary reprecussions is sufficiently great that I have
> serious doubts that Intel will budge from their current position
> unless we can prove, beyond any doubt, that the regulatory
> limitations imposed will not be violated.
> Since open source, where anyone who can read the code can see exactly
> what the limits are, and 'adjust to suit', virtually guarantees
> miss-use, sooner if not later, for no other reason than its human
> nature to experiment, Intel/moto/etc therefore has very good reasons
> to treat its chip<->software interface as highly secret &
> proprietary.
To own a gun (in USA at least) is legal and easy.
To use it is your choice.
It may be illegel at times, but you still can (legally) have one.

> Thats not saying that they may at some point furnish a 'filter' that
> presents the rest of the world with a usable API to control it, but
> the filter will see to it that attempted illegal settings are
> ignored. The only way I can see that actually working is to actually
> put that filter inside the chip, customized for the locale its being
> shipped to. The radio control portion of the chip itself wouldn't
> even be bonded out to external world pins or bga contacts, just the
> port of the filter that the outside world talks to.
> I'd rather doubt they want to make 20 to 40 different filtered
> versions of the same chipset just to satisfy TPTB in some 3rd world
> country thats less than 1% of the total sales. Even the relatively
> dense market where Han lives is probably less than 5% of the total
> for a popular chipset.
> I'm a broadcast engineer who has been dealing at times with the FCC
> for over 40 years, so you could say I'm biased. But thats not real
> bias, its just from being fairly familiar with the regulatory
> territory.
> I'd like to see an open source solution to this problem myself, but
> just because its open source we are asking for, with the attendent
> liabilities that implies, I would not hold my breath till it happens.
> If you do, you'll probably be talking to the rest of the world through
> a Ouija board.

Just stirring the soup you see,

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