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    SubjectInfiniBand incompatible with the Linux kernel?
    Hi all,

    Enough people have been asking me about this lately, that I thought I
    would just bring it up publicly here.

    It seems that the Infiniband group (IBTA) has changed their licensing
    agrement of the basic Infiniband spec. See:
    http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=18922
    for more info about this.

    The main point that affects Linux is the fact that now, no non-member of
    the IBTA can implement any working Infiniband code, otherwise they might
    run into legal problems. As an anonymous member of a IBTA company told
    me:
    If someone downloads the spec without joining the IBTA, and
    proceeds to use the spec for an implementation of the IBTA spec,
    that person (company) runs the risk of being a target of patent
    infringement claims by IBTA members.

    Another person, wanting to remain anonymous stated to me:
    In justification for this position people say that they are just
    trying to get more people to join the IBTA because they need the
    dues, which by coincidence are $9500 per year, and point out
    that some other commonly used specs are similarly made available
    for steep prices. I don't know one way or the other about that
    but this sounds a lot like the reason that we all gave ourselves
    for NOT including SDP in the kernel[1].

    So, even if a IBTA member company creates a Linux IB implementation, and
    gets it into the kernel tree, any company who ships such a
    implementation, who is not a IBTA member, could be the target of any
    patent infringement claims[2].

    So, OpenIB group, how to you plan to address this issue? Do you all
    have a position as to how you think your code base can be accepted into
    the main kernel tree given these recent events?

    thanks,

    greg k-h

    [1] SDP, for those who do not know, is a part of the IB spec that
    Microsoft has come out and stated they they currently own the patents
    that cover that portion of the specification, and that anyone who wants
    to implement it, needs to get a licensing agreement with them. Of
    course, that license agreement does not allow for a GPLed version of the
    implementation.

    [2] Sure, any person who has a copy of the kernel source tree could be a
    target for any of a zillion other potential claims, nothing new there,
    but the point here is they are explicitly stating that they will go
    after non-IBTA members who touch IB code[3].

    [3] An insanely stupid position to take, given the fact that any normal
    industry group would be very happy to actually have people use their
    specification, but hey, the IB people have never been know for their
    brilliance in the past...
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