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SubjectRe: [PATCH] USB: mark USB drivers as being GPL only
Diego Zuccato wrote:
> David Newall ha scritto:
>> "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.
> If the device is well engineered, there's nothing the sw can do to
> make it work outside regulatory limits.

That's naive, since requirements differ in different jurisdictions, as
I'm sure you are perfectly aware.

> Sometimes there's simply NOTHING the SW can do to *avoid* it. Think
> about a CB radio. International standard is 5W (well, somewhere it's
> 3, IIRC, but that's another story: nobody produces a special model
> with a final amplifier for only 3W, everyone produces the 5W and turns
> down power in some other way).
Precisely: One purpose of the driver is to enforce local compliance.

> But linear amplifiers are commonly sold. And (at least in Italy) it's
> not illegal to buy one, even if it can boost antenna power to 1000W.
> It's illegal just to USE it.
In Australia it's illegal to own them (CB licensee; HAMs are allowed to
use them, although not on 27Mhz.)

> And it's a logical problem, too: why should the *driver* enforce a
> *technical* limit?
That's part of it's purpose. It permits a manufacturer to make a global
device that operates within local restrictions.

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