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Re: The i2o Bus: A Conspiracy Against Free Software?

On Wed, 16 Jul 1997, Bruce Perens wrote:

I usually don't follow too much copyright issues since reading
Licences & other law related texts in English is hard for me,
but I think this "i2o" case is specially bad:

> Check out http://www.i2osig.org/ "i2o" is a developing "non-proprietary"
> standard for high-performance computer peripherals. Unfortunately, it's a
> closed standard, it requires a NDA, and you need a license to develop
> software for it. Their terms are:

> 	You can't develop software or hardware for it without being a member.
> 	You can't disclose source code for your drivers.

Those two are IMHO the worst part. Is it really possible to forbid someone
to develop without without being member?!

> It looks as if the i2o agreements are deliberately written to exclude free
> software.

Hard to say it's the primarypurpose of those agreements, but it
does exclude free software (and I doubt they didn't think about it).

> I suspect that if i2o peripherals become popular, free operating systems
> will be locked out from running on PC hardware.

A while ago, someone on <linux-kernel> proposed to write some code to
allow Linux to use device drivers designed for NT, but it would be too bad
that we actually _need_ this one day.

Also 99% of the major PC hardware/devices producers are already members:
(Intel,Asustek,Seagate,3Com: All the producers of the hardware I'm
currently using). The only one I couldn't find in this list is US


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