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SubjectRe: IPMI
On Tue, 14 Jan 2003 20:23:07 +1100
Paul Mackerras <> wrote:

> > This document describes how to use the IPMI driver for Linux. If you
> > are not familiar with IPMI itself, see the web site at
> > IPMI is a big
> > subject and I can't cover it all here!

I don't want to start a license flamewar, by any means, but while looking
through that page I noticed this:

"Adopters Agreement:

Before implementing the IPMI, IPMB or ICMB specifications, a royalty-free
reciprocal patent license must be signed."

The agreement itself (at
seems benign (where 'seems' means 'I am not a lawyer and I don't even play one on TV'),
but this bit looks a little iffy:

| Adopter hereby grants to the Promoters and to Fellow Adopters, and the
| Promoters hereby grant to Adopter, a nonexclusive, royalty-free,
| nontransferable, nonsublicenseable, worldwide
| license under its Necessary Claims to make, have made, use, import,
| offer to sell and sell products which comply with the Specification

How does the "nontransferable, nonsublicensable" bit affect Linux? I presume
somebody signed this thing and sent it to Intel, but wouldn't it only apply to
the individual who signed it, as Linux developers aren't exactly a legal
entity? The way I read it, it would mean that everybody who wants to
distribute a kernel containing IPMI would each need to sign the agreement...

Much as I hate to say it, have you had a GPL-aware lawyer look at this?

Sorry for the noise,


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