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SubjectRe: Open letter to Linux kernel developers (was Re: Binary Drivers)
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On Wed, 2006-12-20 at 16:38 -0800, Casey Schaufler wrote:
[...]
> The argument that a hardware company usually
> invokes is that, while they don't give a horse's
> pitute about the software itself, they do care
> about the information the software contains
> about their hardware. The concern is that
> publishing the software under any form of open
> or free license would be seen as publishing
> the details of the hardware, thus making any
> claims that they attempted to protect thier
> intellectual property void. They would sell
> less hardware because they would have no legal
> recourse against anyone who "stole" the secrets
> to their hardware.

The more realistic and more expensive threat is not the above (yes, one
can "copy" an already released product after reverse enginnering and
also try to sell it but how long - in calendar time - does this take?
And during that time the original is sold all the time) but it is much
easier to detect (real or potential) patent violations and the fun
begins probably.
And ATM is is practically not possible to build anything remotely
"technical" without violating hundreds of patents somewhere (they may be
legal or "illegal" or trivial or software as such but if a patent is
granted it is there).

> I make no claims to understanding the legal
> basis for this position. I don't even know if
> I think it makes sense. I have heard it often
> enough to understand that many people believe
> it though.

Bernd
--
Firmix Software GmbH http://www.firmix.at/
mobil: +43 664 4416156 fax: +43 1 7890849-55
Embedded Linux Development and Services

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