absurd: network connection required to obtain a network driver

Peteris Krisjanis pecisk at gmail.com
Thu Jul 3 21:23:00 UTC 2008


Just wanted to add my opinion about mystical reasons why companies
don't want allow us to use their hardware properly - I think all stuff
about back engineering is total bs. Competitors who actually can do
back engineering, already have huge labs, where all competitors
products are tested with their firmwares broken wide open. Sorry to
say that, but Broadcom and others just want to cover their asses
(suggested by lawyers), because it is their firmware and their
responsibility. For example, so called Broadcom firmware is borked on
Ubuntu CD, hardware doesn't work, users complain to Broadcom, suing
them, etc.

Say thanks to "US corporate thinking" that even remote legal issue
will be covered by company and therefore making simple things (like
distributing firmware which makes sold hardware to work) very complex.

Just two cents,

2008/7/3 Bud Roth <junk at taiotoshi.org>:
> You've identified an issue regarding copies of Ubuntu CDs that, while a
> valid concern, can be addressed.  (I'm a lawyer, not a developer, so
> that's where my strengths and weaknesses fall.)  Broadcom wouldn't agree
> to let Canonical distribute the network card driver with its CDs if
> they--as you note--were uncomfortable with third parties making copies
> of the Canonical CDs.  The question is how do you make them
> comfortable.
> (Canonical actively encourages third parties to copy its CDs and
> wouldn't want something in the CD that prevents this, so the freedom to
> copy CDs needs to be protected too.)
> If Canonical could get Broadcom to agree to let Canonical distribute the
> drivers with the CD, your concern about third party copies can be
> addressed in licensing language that made it clear that third parties
> could copy the CD and distribute it with the driver so long as the third
> party copier and "fourth party" recipient honored the distribution
> agreement between Broadcom and Canonical.  This is not so different from
> GNU conditions on incorporating GNU software into new products.
> It's something to have your lawyers look at, but I suspect the real
> problem is that Broadcom doesn't see a need to help Ubuntu users and/or
> worries that "unlicensed" third party copies might water down their
> legal arguments for going after driver reverse engineering.  That is
> probably their real worry.  That someone will work the Broadcom driver
> into a competitor's product.
> Regards,
> Bud
> Virginia Ubuntu user

More information about the Ubuntu-devel-discuss mailing list