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Re: acenic firmware rewrite

I wrote:
> As long as they don't copy any protected code you'll be fine.

Wouter Verhelst writes:
> That's the problem, I'm afraid. It's not unlikely that you'll have this
> 'great idea' which in reality is something you remember from reading the
> original source, but not remembering that this is the case.

Copyright does not protect ideas.  The subject is software, not music.

> This won't happen if the people reading the source and those writing the
> new stuff are different people.

When faced with the same problems the people writing the code are likely to
come up with solutions similar to those used by the authors of the non-free
version.  You might actually be better off referring to the non-free code
and deliberately making yours different where possible.

> This is also what the Compaq people did when they rewrote the IBM BIOS...

Compaq used the "clean room" technique because a) the BIOS requirements are
such that many problems have only one solution and so Compaq's code was
certain to be very similar (or even identical) to IBM's in many places and
b) they expected IBM to sue and wanted a bulletproof defense (IBM did not
John Hasler 
Elmwood, WI USA

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