On Thu, Aug 08, 2002 at 20:20:24 -0500, Peter Schultz wrote:
> On Thu, 2002-08-08 at 16:45, Terry Lambert wrote:
> > Julian Elischer wrote:
> > > On Thu, 8 Aug 2002, Katsushi Kobayashi wrote:
> > > > Did you suggest the same API should be used on both Darwin and FreeBSD ?
> > > > Or, should we share the same code on the device driver level ?
> > > >
> > > > Although I have not read the terms and condition carefully, I am afraid
> > > > if once
> > > > read the source code, I cannot write any firewire kernel code.
> > > 
> > > There is no problem with that..
> > > The courts have said that what you know in your head can not be
> > > withheld from your use.
> > > You may not be able to DIRECTLY COPY it but you can use it as a source
> > > of information.
> > > (depending on the coppyright you may even be able to copy it of course :-)
> > 
> > He is in Japan.
> > 
> > Japan is one of the few places, besides the U.S., which permits
> > software patents.  In additioan, they have a number of draconian
> > laws about reverse engineering, and so on, similar to the laws
> > that have been recently passed or are in the process of being
> > passed in the U.S..  You can not sell or rent a game cartridge
> > for a console game there, for example.
> > 
> > He may need someone else to agree to the license for him, and
> > then document the API without coping the information directly.
> > 
> I'm not sure why Apple would bite the hand that feeds it.  BSD is not
> powerless against them, I see no reason to be afraid.  My argument is
> that Apple has made claims that they will be contributing back to BSD. 
> So, if Katsushi can't go check out their code and make FreeBSD's
> compatible, then they will be going against their word, and that will
> not look good to very many of us.  Apple is in plenty of hot water
> already, they don't need a bunch of pissed off BSD users too.
> In light of the recent and long overdue questioning of business ethics,
> I think it's our duty to challenge Apple.  Apple could have taken the
> code and walked away, but since they want to be a part of the process
> they're going to have to deal with us.  Of course, it's not my neck on
> the line, so I totally respect Katsushi's hesitance.
> If the decision is made to go ahead and Apple follows up with legal
> action, I can guarantee you that the very next day I will be on the
> phone with as many senators as I can.  Not only that but I would not
> stop until all parties names are clear and they are free to go ahead
> with writing the code.  I don't think my opinion is out of line, and I
> have confidence that many of you support this attitude.

What's the point of all this, anyway?  Why is it so important to use this
firewire code from Apple?

If we're so concerned about the API, how many applications that will run
under FreeBSD actually know something about that API?  i.e., what's the
gain here?

There's already a bunch of Firewire code written for FreeBSD:


I'd much rather see our home-grown code go into the tree than make a huge
effort to gripe at Apple about their code, which has a rather restricive
license anyway.  They're looking to make money by licensing their source to
people doing appliances and similar things that want quick and easy
firewire code.

We've already got a bunch of firewire code, and very little reason, I
think, to even bother with the Apple code.

Kobayashi-san is right, he shouldn't even risk tainting himself by looking
at their intellectual property.  If someone else, who isn't considering
doing the work, wants to take a look at it and come up with some concrete
reasons why we should pester Apple to release it under a less restrictive
license, then that's fine.

Given what they're evidently trying to do with the code (make it available
on an evaluation basis, and then sell licenses to use it in products), it
makes no sense that they would want to release it for use in FreeBSD.  To
release it for use in FreeBSD would require a BSD-style license, which
would allow people to use it in appliances, which would eliminate Apple's
revenue stream for anybody smart enough to use FreeBSD to get their code.

Kenneth Merry

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