[openmoko-announce] Crossroads

Imre Kaloz kaloz at openwrt.org
Wed Mar 14 18:08:45 CET 2007

On Wed, 14 Mar 2007 17:51:37 +0100, Martin Lefkowitz <lefko at sbcglobal.net>  

> I disagree with that premise that it is a nasty legal area.
> Modules can be proprietary this is a fact.

Grey area, but hard to argue until they use any GPL code or symbol.

> If it were not then everybody would have already sued everybody.  So far
> it's only linksys that had to disclose their WRT54g code.  I can almost
> guarantee you that no chip company is going to open themselves up to
> that.  There is just too much money at stake in the development process.

You can do it right, have a firmware and a GPL'ed driver. The firmware  
holds the IP, the GPL'ed driver helps you get more interest and support in  
the FOSS community. If you want to make it better, make your firmware  
easily redistributable - and if you want to make it really right, don't  
save that $0.1 on the small flash to store the firmware on the device  

> I can understand why you would want to not have hardware built into the
> platform that has this issue.  I don't agree with it, but I can
> understand it.  But, I can not understand why you wouldn't want an SDIO
> slot that would allow the user to make the choice.

As Sean explained, they don't want to redesign the cases and everything.  
It can happen for later designs, and I'm pretty sure it will actually  
happen for those.

> Also what was mentioned earlier about the SDIO stack -- this is very
> immature software and hardware.  The SDIO hardware market has not shaken
> out yet, which is risk, but coming up with a linux based sdio wedge for
> a particular piece of HW may go a long way to ensuring that that chip is
> one of the winners.

Same was said about WiFi a few years ago. But I can't agree more on your  
last sentence - and honestly, I'm pretty sure this is one of the reasons  
Atheros donated the SDIO stack and a true GPL'ed driver for the FOSS  


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