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SubjectRe: [ANNOUNCE] Withdrawl of Open Source NDS Project/NTFS/M2FS forLinux
Dear David,
Dear GPL defenders,

As former engineering manager at IGEL I woud like to give you
some additional information to the situation as far as IGEL
is concerned. The German former company IGEL GmbH does not exist
any more and belongs now to Infomatec AG (http://www.infomatec.de).


Technical situation:

The situation with M-System's DOC driver (from my point of view)
is as follows: The hardware level flash driver code was initially
not designed for Linux. We received this code under NDA and wrote
a small linux interface for it which we published at M-System's
web site.

Our major kernel contribution to embedded systems is a special
compression layer which can sit on top of almost any block device.
Unlike Linus Torvald's cramfs, this compression layer resembles
not a filesystem but another block device.
In this sense (a block device on top of another one) it is
comparable to the loop device.

It is true, that this driver has to be statically linked to the
kernel so far. Our driver is currently undergoing major changes,
one of them making it loadable as a module, the making it work
with kernel 2.4.0-test7.


Legal situation:

We (the former IGEL team and Infomatec management) have decided
to fully comply to the GPL. After having cleaned up our code a
little, we will publish it this month. The reason why we didn't do
so earlier was simply because nobody was asking for it and because
we didn't regard our code as of general interest.

Unfortunately we can't do much about M-System's low level code
because we are bound by the NDA. We have a good relationship to
M-Systems. Perhaps we can convince them to publish their code as
well, but I can't promise that.


Regards,

Thomas Kraetzig
Research and Development
Infomatec IAS (Internet Appliance Systems)



David Woodhouse wrote:
>
> hps@tanstaafl.de said:
> > I'm sure that once the FSF is willing to step up, there will be lots
> > of supporters and sponsors to finance this.
>
> Far smaller companies have _already_ got away with not only violating the
> Linux kernel's GPL, but blatantly encouraging their customers to do so.
>
> Why should we believe that anyone's actually going to pursue one as large
> as Microsoft?
>
> See http://www.m-sys.com/files/drivers/doc/DOC_linux_2_2_x.zip for a
> binary-only driver which comes with instructions on how to link it into
> your kernel - encouraging you to break the GPL.
>
> Note that it doesn't come as a loadable module (although it's possible to
> hack it a bit to do that). The instructions only tell you how to link it
> into your kernel - hence violating the GPL if you distribute your product.
>
> I believe that IGEL's products are shipping with the DiskOnChip driver in
> this form. Has anyone sued them yet?
>
> --
> dwmw2
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