Re: [opensuse] Re: [opensuse-factory] Problem with openSUSE 11.3 for systems with Broadcom BCM4312



On Wednesday 14 July 2010 02:37:41 Richard Atcheson wrote:
On Tuesday 13 July 2010 14:57:22 Andreas Jaeger wrote:
The driver violates the kernel license and therefore we do not
distribute it as part of openSUSE.

I think I'm beginning to understand. The reason for not making the
Broadcom drivers available is not because of Broadcom's distribution
licensing but because it's closed source and the suse kernel is GPL and
therefore the two will not play nice. If a user wants/needs the
Broadcom driver then he must get it by some other means and figure out
a way to install without suse's help. Is that the shorthand way of
explaining it?

Yes.

Even if that is the case, I still don't understand the earlier comment
that Packman couldnt make those drivers available.

The Broadcom files comes with a license agreement. Everybody has to assign
on his own whether that one allows distribution - and whether the
conditions in the license are something you want to follow or whether the
legal risk is too high. Greg interprets the license that nobody can
distribute it - looking at the license myself, I do not see that, maybe he
looked at a previous license, maybe he found something I didn't see. But
the clauses are so strict and unfavorable for me - if I distribute them -
that I would not want to distribute it based on the license, the risk is
far too high.

Why can't Broadcom play this - like many others -
according to the roles of the game?

Perhaps it's because no one really knows the rules of the game??

they are known for sure and many others follow them without problems...

Is this another of those religious wars that will never be settled
because there is no middle ground?

There are a few ways to handle this. The thing is that many vendors have
open sourced their drivers - you can buy a laptop with an Intel Wifi card
and that one is open source etc.

But besides the kernel license violation, the closed source drivers often
have bugs in them that will break your kernel completely. So, the kernel
developers have given up debugging kernels with a closed source driver
running...

It's awfully frustrating, especially to the non technical user.

Andreas
--
Andreas Jaeger, Program Manager openSUSE, aj@{novell.com,opensuse.org}
Twitter: jaegerandi | Identica: jaegerandi
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