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SubjectRe: [PATCH] USB: mark USB drivers as being GPL only
> "Of course", because in many parts of the world, a device who's manufacturer 
> fails to take reasonable steps to prevent it from being used outside
> regulatory limits is illegal. Providing source code not only is a failure
> to take those reasonable steps, but is quite the opposite. It may even be
> viewed as encouraging users to use it inappropriately.

To my knowledge there is no caselaw on this for software, nor is it
clearly so simple - many vendors do provide source, many vendors provide
windows drivers where any end user can click to specify their country and
can lie trivially. Many users retrofit US firmware to non US devices and
its trivial to do. Its a hard problem - if I get on the train I can
change regulatory domain and wireless regulations mid trip. I'm not even
sure at what point the wireless rules are deemed to change between the UK
and France either - there isn't any caselaw for that ;)

Some (particularly US) companies choose to take a conservative view based
on their pessimistic reading of the intent of the US regulator plus the
ability of the regulator to do a lot of damage to their business.

The notion they are illegal is a real unknown and the market seems split
on views of this.


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