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IP Theft in the Linux Kernel

Nik posted more than 12 years ago | from the we-feel-so-betrayed dept.

BSD 1000

Søren Schmidt was browsing through the 2.4.10 linux kernel source when he saw something that looked a bit familiar. Too familiar in fact. Søren is the principle developer of FreeBSD's ATA drivers, including FreeBSD's support for ATA RAID cards, and as he looked through the linux/drivers/ide/ files the sense of deja vu was overwhelming. Read on for more.

"They just took my code and filed off the copyright" said Søren. "This is clearest with the two header files hptraid.h and pdcraid.h. Compare these with FreeBSD's ata-raid.h, and just look at the similarities." And it's true that these two header files certainly look like a chopped up copy of the FreeBSD header, after a quick search-and-replace. "The reading of the RAID config from the disks is their own code, but is clearly "inspired" from our code," said Søren, "but that's encouraged by the license. It's the verbatim use of the other code without retaining the copyright that's the problem."

ata-raid.h, and the other files, are copyright Søren, and released under the three clause BSD license, which includes the restriction "Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright notice". So using these files, or significant portions of them, in your own code, without retaining the copyright information, as has happened here, is prohibited.

You may be thinking "This is only a couple of header files, what's the big deal?". As Søren says "The problem here is that the structures in the headers is the whole story. That info tells how you read the proprietary struct off the disks, and was reverse engineered and documented by me after a lot of effort." Søren's intellectual property is tied up in those files.

Right now, Søren is in discussions with the authors of the Linux ATA drivers (employed by RedHat) to ensure that his copyright notice is returned to these and other files, and to ensure that this situation does not recur. And it is hoped that an amicable solution can be reached.

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w00t! (-1)

cyborg_monkey (150790) | more than 12 years ago | (#2347843)

That's right, w00t!

Re:w00t! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2347853)

suck my micropenis.

Re:w00t! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2347950)

You can't handle a micropenis!

Re:w00t! (-1)

TrollMan 5000 (454685) | more than 12 years ago | (#2347875)

One good logged-in first post deserves another!

AC Avenger can suck it!

w00t!

Re:w00t! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2347981)

Fuck you.

-- The AC Avenger

I'm a raging homosexual!

Re:w00t! (-1)

cyborg_monkey (150790) | more than 12 years ago | (#2348003)

Yeeehaw!

Re:w00t! (-1)

Spootnik (518145) | more than 12 years ago | (#2347924)

Rob Malda was grabing my cock while I was asleep. I feel so betrayed.

Taco... (-1)

egg troll (515396) | more than 12 years ago | (#2347964)

Be careful. He's known to slip roofies to unsuspecting men, and then have his way with them while they're unconscious. I'm told sometimes he kills them and keeps their organs around his house as erotic mementos. All of this while he's employed as a chocolate factory worker in Milwuakee.

wow, this is a shame (3, Insightful)

JEDi_ERiAN (79402) | more than 12 years ago | (#2347849)

this is crazy, linux developers need to give props where props is due.

E.

Re:wow, this is a shame (3, Insightful)

hokie93 (249796) | more than 12 years ago | (#2347912)

Agreed. There are bound to be a lot of trolls on this discussion and some inflamatory rhetoric but it is pretty simple. For the most part, when you use the source code from any open source program, you are bound by the terms of the license agreement.

By removing the advertising clause, the BSD license is compatable with the GPL but there are still obligations that must be met.

Shoe's on the Other foot now! (-1, Troll)

wiredog (43288) | more than 12 years ago | (#2347859)

What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. What goes around, comes around. etc. etc. etc.

Hypocrites! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2347863)

Man, as a FreeBSD user, I am insulted. After all, isn't you Linux guys who are always bashing people who don't preach the GNU way?

IIEMBF...IWKHG! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2347865)

early IF&nbspI&nbspEVER&nbspMEEPT&nbspBEN&nbspFRANKLIN&n bspI&nbspWILL&nbspKICK&nbspHIS&nbspGOAT! post

Re:IIEMBF...IWKHG! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2347901)

Damn you "editors" modded that poast down fast! Now ownly the twolls will see it!

And yet... (4, Informative)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 12 years ago | (#2347870)

And yet, if it had been incorporated into WinXP, nobody would ever have been the wiser. Who would this guy be whining to then?

Seriously, though, if someone used the code, it must be used under the correct license. Same as if someone uses the linux kernel. They gotta use the GPL.

Again, copyright (and licensing) is a double-edged sword.

Re:And yet... (5, Informative)

geomcbay (263540) | more than 12 years ago | (#2347917)

Microsoft has incorporated BSD code into Windows various times, each time giving proper credit and keeping copyright notices intact.

Don't try to reflect this onto Microsoft. Clearly the Linux developers fucked up here.

Re:And yet... (3, Interesting)

Spankophile (78098) | more than 12 years ago | (#2347965)

There's only a few comments in here right now, but the sentiment seems to be:

"I'm speechless. THis sort of thing shouldn't happen. Give the guy his due credit. Now let's move on."

If it really *had* been done in Windows, and someone found out, I bet people here would be screaming for blood, waving the evil empire flag, and talking about how only an MS employee would do such a thing.

Crow is good for you.

Re:And yet... (-1, Troll)

brsett (169637) | more than 12 years ago | (#2347966)

Right, and that wouldn't have been a copyright infringement since they wouldn't be trying to relicense or distribute the code. Someone should moderate you as the troll you are.

Re:And yet... (0, Troll)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 12 years ago | (#2347983)

Someone should moderate you as the troll you are.


They should. But they haven't.

Re:And yet... (0, Troll)

brsett (169637) | more than 12 years ago | (#2348036)

And they won't. But you and I both know that you're not as smart as you wish you were, and for now that will have to be enough

a goat post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2347873)

is the thing we need most here, methinks.

Are you sure it is a RedHat Employee (-1, Flamebait)

bstrahm (241685) | more than 12 years ago | (#2347874)

Sure sounds like something a Microsoft employee would do...

Re:Are you sure it is a RedHat Employee (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2347956)

Fuck You, Asshole

You must be a MS employee (-1)

egg troll (515396) | more than 12 years ago | (#2347999)

Good job on your software. Its much better than Linux. Sorry the mindless slashbots give your company so much shit.

Re:Are you sure it is a RedHat Employee (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2347967)

Actually, yes it does sound like a RedHat dev. Redhat is widely known to employ 3rd-rate computer science students, many from NCState which is nearby. Microsoft, on the other hand, has some of the most rigorous hiring procedures in the world. Turing Award winners work there; a Fields Medal winner works there. Work for MS for a few years, and you can work anywhere. Not so with Redhat.

Re:Are you sure it is a RedHat Employee (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2348041)

Exactly! Microsoft r0x0rs! w00t!

Licensing Problems? (1, Flamebait)

Ted V (67691) | more than 12 years ago | (#2347876)

I'm pretty sure BSD and Linux use different "copyleft" variants-- what impact will this have on the source code? Is Linux even allowed to use the BSD code without changing their License to match BSD's? I seem to remember the BSD license being slightly fascist...

-Ted

Re:Licensing Problems? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2347916)

No, that's the GPL virus you're thinking of.

Re:Licensing Problems? (3, Informative)

nano-second (54714) | more than 12 years ago | (#2347943)

The license doesn't have to be the same one as long as they are compatible. gnu.org has this list [gnu.org] of compatible licenses.. note that the modified BSD license is included as compatible.

Re:Licensing Problems? (2)

Webmonger (24302) | more than 12 years ago | (#2347978)

BSD variants aren't even slightly facist. In fact, the Windows IP stack was based on the BSD IP stack, which is completely legal. The GPL and the modified BSD license are compatible.

The original BSD License had an "obnoxious advertising clause" which required all advertisments to say the software was based on x. That's fine for one component, but with 50 components, you'd have more attributions than anything else in the ad.

Hardly anyone uses the original BSD license anymore.

Re:Licensing Problems? (-1)

Swift Kick (240510) | more than 12 years ago | (#2347986)

How is the BSD license "slightly fascist" when the only requirement is that you keep the original copyright notice intact?


I think you need to go read the BSD license, and then read the GPL, and see which one is the true 'fascist' license....

Say it ain't so! (0, Flamebait)

TTop (160446) | more than 12 years ago | (#2347877)

OMG, Free software stolen from other Free software!! Everybody get ready to write your representatives about this terrible problem!

Re:Say it ain't so! (1)

kingpin2k (523489) | more than 12 years ago | (#2347913)

No kidding. He's just lucky the DMCA doesn't apply to reverse engineering hardware specs...umm...right?

Re:Say it ain't so! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2347982)

The DMCA doesn't apply to people who live
in Europe.

MicroRedHat? (0, Flamebait)

Valgar (225897) | more than 12 years ago | (#2347878)

My my Redhat is just acting more like microsoft every day....

Makes me feel warm and fuzzy to see more and more people snatching code from FreeBSD though...It may not be in the limelight, but it must be good enough to inspire others to snag bits of it...

Scuze me whilst I don my flame resistant gear...

I knew LINUX was too good to be true (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2347879)

Jeez...you would think that people would know that just because you stole the software fair and square, it doesn't make it "free" software.

Er... (4, Insightful)

Legion303 (97901) | more than 12 years ago | (#2347884)

Can someone explain to me *why* a developer would strip off copyright info? It's not like there are licensing fees; the guy just wants his code to be recognized and attributed. It doesn't make much sense to me...could it have been an honest mistake or a coincidence? (I'm not a programmer, so I haven't looked at the two files in question, which would mean nothing to me anyway.)

-Legion

Re:Er... (0)

kaisyain (15013) | more than 12 years ago | (#2347932)

The linux kernel is GPLed. GPL and BSD can't mix.

Re:Er... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2348022)

Yes they can. U moron, me Jane.

Re:Er... (BSD License vs the GPL) (2, Interesting)

thedward (26360) | more than 12 years ago | (#2347959)

The BSD license has an "advertisment" clause that requires the software give credit to the developers.
This is contrary to the GPLs "no additional restrictions" clause. Thus you cannot just take code from a BSD licensed project and import it into a GPL licensed project. Not legally at least.

Re:Er... (BSD License vs the GPL) (2, Informative)

bamf (212) | more than 12 years ago | (#2348013)

The 3-clause BSD licence does not contain the "advertisment" clause.

It was removed July 22 1999.

Re:Er... (4, Funny)

cdraus (522373) | more than 12 years ago | (#2347970)

The programmer probably didn't know how to insert that funny looking o character in "Soren" using vi, so just left it out...

Mod This Up! (-1)

egg troll (515396) | more than 12 years ago | (#2348026)

Hahahaha!

PS: Taco the inability to hit the back button and return to this form because I hit SUBMIT 18 seconds, instead of 20, really fucking sucks. Slashdot is becoming more and more of a piece of shit with each day.

Re:Er... (4, Funny)

OmegaDan (101255) | more than 12 years ago | (#2348001)

It says a RedHat employe wrote the code ... the guy stole the code and probably played quake for 2 months. Thats why you strip off the copyright.

Re:Er... (2)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 12 years ago | (#2348025)

Someone elsewhere posited that as the programmers worked for RHAT, they wanted it to appear as though they had done more work than they really did.

I would imagine that the licensing question might be more difficult. But, if Soren (sorry, don't know how to put in that 'o' character) has rights to all of the code, he could additionally license that to the linux kernel, provided his name appeared somewhere (comments in header, name in developer list. Something.) And by this, I don't mean that that is a written or agreed to thing. His inclusion should be a handshake type deal.

Only problem is how pissed off is the original author of the code?

goatsex (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2347886)

here! have some goatsex [goatse.cx] !

WARNING: GOATSEX LINK IN PARENT! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2347949)

You heard.

Why all the fuss? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2347887)

Doesn't suprise me one bit.

Won't be the last time. (4, Interesting)

proxima (165692) | more than 12 years ago | (#2347889)

Granted, I think most of us expect code to be stolen from GPL products and stuck into proprietary products. It struck me as odd that BSD code would actually be put into a GPL program improperly, considering the only requirement to my knowledge is the copyright notice they discussed.

It was mentioned that the authors of the Linux kernel code worked for Red Hat. We can't be certain but I speculate that they didn't want to appear "lazy" by "stealing" anyone elses code, regardless that it was completely free. Perhaps it was just an oversight. I hope we see an update in a slashback in the future.

Nor was it the first... (2)

Christopher Bibbs (14) | more than 12 years ago | (#2347933)

This sort of thing ("borrowing" of code without following the rules) happens all the time. The good news is, with Open Source it is easier to find and correct.

I just hope the offender can be identified and given the chance to ask forgiveness (sinner repent! ;)).

yes! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2347963)

I am lame!

attitude (1)

jxqvg (472961) | more than 12 years ago | (#2347980)

And that's exactly the attitude the Hive is going to attach to this whole incident. "It was just an oversight. We didn't know it was BSD code. We didn't steal BSD code and get caught. It'll never happen again. Really. Promise."

And things like this will just keep happening time and again, with the same "it was an honest mistake, and now that someone noticed it, we'll fix it promptly." Surprisingly, I think I've seen similar stories about other, supposedly more sinister movements and organizations.

FreeBSD dead? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2347893)

FreeBSD is not dead! It lives on in the Linux kernel! Of course, you would never know that because they don't exactly like giving BSD their dues when it comes to cutting and pasting their work. Wow, hahaha, this should really inspire some more *BSD vs. Linux holy wars, the BSDers always SAID this was going on, but now they can PROVE it did atleast ONCE, and a real copyright violation in the Linux kernel no doubt, wow... where is my pop corn!

blows monkeys (1)

daanger0us (473406) | more than 12 years ago | (#2347896)

Ok, this blows monkeys. For your own brothers to not give you props for a job well done and lots of work... I'm speechless..

linux devs = 3rd rate trash (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2347898)

More proof that Linux is the work of a bunch of third-rate low-life devs. Why bother guys? Switch to BSD and get on with your lives.

Re:linux devs = 3rd rate trash (-1, Offtopic)

teknopurge (199509) | more than 12 years ago | (#2347991)

FUCK YES. Linux is a slow piece of trash. fear openbsd, even on the desktop. mod muh ass down!

yes (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2347899)

I am lame!

Re:yes (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2348005)

That was not Redundant, you castrated dogturd! That was LAME!

So tell me (2, Redundant)

Drone-X (148724) | more than 12 years ago | (#2347904)

Why post this on Slashdot when the issue is nearly resolved? If you want to send out a message then the place to post would be the Linux kernel mailing list.

Re:So tell me (1)

jxqvg (472961) | more than 12 years ago | (#2348029)

Because it's "news" when other companies do it. Sounds only fair to me.

Come one! (-1)

SpanishInquisition (127269) | more than 12 years ago | (#2347905)

Linux is just BSD and Minix source code stuck together with duct tape, everybody knows that, that guy just forgot to use the obfuscator.

Re:Come one! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2347927)

I am lame !

See? The Gov'ment wuz rite! (0, Troll)

Robber Baron (112304) | more than 12 years ago | (#2347906)

The Gov'ment wuz rite! All yew Lienucks yewsers ahr theeves and tearerists! [slashdot.org] They shewd lock yew up aynd fergit abowt yew!

SFW (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2347911)

Aren't we always being told that the good thing about BSD is we can use the code anywhere we like. Well somebody has. Now how do you feel about your BSD license?

Jesus, it gets deader by the day.

Jumping to conclusions.. (0, Flamebait)

defile (1059) | more than 12 years ago | (#2347918)

Let's anticipate some comments:

CLEARLY THIS SHOWS THAT LINUX IS INFERIOR AND HAS ALWAYS LEECHED OFF OF FREEBSD.

..and..

RED HAT IS EVIL THEY'RE THE NEW MICROSOFT

Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by stupidity.

I'd bet 10:1 that the developers did this unintentionally rather than thought "HEE HEE WE'LL RIP OFF OPEN SOURCE CODE AND PUT IT IN ANOTHER OPEN SOURCE PRODUCT AND NO ONE WILL EVER KNOW!" *slobber*slobber*

Wait until you hear both stories

Re:Jumping to conclusions.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2347968)

Oh, don't forget the inevitable series of '*BSD is dead' trolls too. :-)

Re:Jumping to conclusions.. (1)

SamBeckett (96685) | more than 12 years ago | (#2348028)

How the hell can you even ASSUME that the developer did this on accident? Do you think he was sleep walking one night and copied verbatim FreeBSD source code, made some s/*/*/g replacements and was none the wiser the next morning?

Good for him! (4, Informative)

adaking (158188) | more than 12 years ago | (#2347919)

Even though the license was violated by other free software developers, I'm glad to see him pursuing this. If we ever want to see the various free software licenses accepted by the general community, we need to show them that we take them seriously, even if that means going after some of our own.

Wow, this is interesting (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2347923)

How can you steal from a BSD and still have an
OS that fucked up? They must have changed
something. Linux sucks ass.

Stolen code??? (2, Interesting)

Quasar1999 (520073) | more than 12 years ago | (#2347926)

Certain code, although originally discovered/written by one individual will look a lot like the code of others, especially when that code is interfacing with hardware. I can only initialize a video card one way, with all the registers being set in the same order... Now if I don't consult the web, or anyone elses source code, and write a video driver, someone else, who wrote one for the same hardware first, could claim that I cut and paste his code... Even though I haven't even seen it.

Just because the code looks the same, doesn't mean it was stolen... There are only a limited number of ways to get certain hardware to work in software, and most code reflects this.

Re:Stolen code??? (1)

hattig (47930) | more than 12 years ago | (#2347998)

You didn't look at the source code, did you?

The structs are the same. Same variable names, name comments in the same places. Just split into two header files and losing the license very neatly.

If this was developed independently, the ordering of the members of the struct would be different, and the names of the members of the struct would also be different.

Yeah but BSD stole its TCP/IP stack! (-1)

egg troll (515396) | more than 12 years ago | (#2347928)

The irony of this is delicious, considering where BSD stole its TCP/IP stack from. They got it from DOS. Yep, stole it right from Microsoft. Now this. What goes around comes around, I guess.

Re:Yeah but BSD stole its TCP/IP stack! (0)

Mayflower (103411) | more than 12 years ago | (#2348035)

This is a joke, right?

Just a guess (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2347929)

If I read correctly, we are talking about 2 lines of code. If in fact this was achieved via "reverse engineering", isn't it possible that both you and the "other" developers came up with the same solution?

I'm not saying that is or is not what happened, it just seems to me that it is possible that 2 different developers could come up with the same answer.

Heh. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2347936)


Linux advocates spend so long looking at Microsoft and supposed GPL violations and theft, that they don't notice the Linux violation of another license.

To be honest, it is most likely due to an oversight on behalf of the person responsible for that area of the code in the Linux kernel.

Apart from the copyright message (would that also have to appear at boot time?) - using the BSD code should not create any licensing issues - it is possible to take BSD code and license it under the (L)GPL I think, but not the other way around.

Looking at the files the similarities are quite obvious! Bet we see a load of anti-BSD posts though... better try and protect my karma somehow. :)

The truth comes out like a gay Army private! (-1)

The_Messenger (110966) | more than 12 years ago | (#2347939)

I've said all along that Linux encourages IP theft, but no one listened. I said that RMS was against IP and encourages developers to steal copyrighted code, but no one listened. Now do you see? Linux is evil. Linux is even worse than the World Grave Center attack. Linux is worse than Jon Katz's childfucking. Linux is worse than death, worse than poverty, worse than pain.

Now you see why we Real Programmers show disdain for Linus and his wannabe developers. They can't even write code themselves! And stealing from FreeBSD? That's like deciding to steal a car, and taking a 1972 Pinto instead of a 2002 BMW. Linux is the riceboy car of OS's, lowered to an inch of the ground and covered with kanji stickers that say "I'm a moron." Linux has an aftermarket aerofoil that doesn't match the body. Linux has ugly chrome wheels and Faggotball Z decals on the hatchback. Linux is fucking gay.

You know how preppies wear sweaters tied around their necks? Linux is gayer than that. Linux is so gay that it has unprotected buttsex in San Francisco while listenig to Blink 182. Linux is gayer that ESR. And that's pretty gay.

All your base are belong to us.

Thank you.

Well, who's the code pirate now? (1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2347940)

So much for respecting IP laws and copyrights, eh fellas?

I mean, come on, keeping a copyright notice with a piece of code is infinitely easier than complying with the convoluted GPL, and the kernel hackers couldn't even do that?

Shame on the hackers who filed off the copyright notice. I can't quite put blame on Linus, since he probably accepted the patch whole and assumed it was original code, but the people who did this have tarnished the entire Linux project.

I'll giggle if MS is ever caught using GPL'd Linux code, seeing as the kernel maintainers no longer have a moral leg to stand on.

yes, but... (1)

markhahn (122033) | more than 12 years ago | (#2347942)

he's right that the copyright should have been propogated. but this hardly counts as IP-theft: move along, nothing to see, move along...

Geeze, it's not an easy license to break... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2347945)

The BSD license lets you do just about anything--
how hard can it be to preserve a copyright?
That's pretty blatently disrespectful--I wonder
how much other code in the Linux kernel has
been "borrowed" in the same way. The BSD
developers explicitly encourage using their
code in their license--the least Linus could do
is respect their request to keep the copyright
message. I hope Linus makes a statement about
this--after all, it will all come back to him
since the system has his name, and he manually
reviews all kernel changes in it.

The Pot Calling the kettle black (-1, Flamebait)

none2222 (161746) | more than 12 years ago | (#2347953)

Søren: "That info tells how you read the proprietary struct off the disks, and was reverse engineered and documented by me after a lot of effort."


Okay, so Søren reverse engineers the proprietary data structures developed at great cost by corporations, and then bitches when his work is ripped off by one of his fellow Open Source travelers. Give me a break!


Besides, didn't the DMCA outlaw reverse-engineering? This is kind of like the story where the guy reports to the cops that someone stole his dope.

Re:The Pot Calling the kettle black (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2348015)

Troll/Flambat alert. Don't fall for it, just ignore and mod down.

Re:The Pot Calling the kettle black (1)

elmegil (12001) | more than 12 years ago | (#2348020)

No, lucky for us, the DMCA is not retroactive, and I'm willing to bet that ATA drivers were created a bloody long time ago relative to that.

My Experience With Linux (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2347954)

I work as a consultant for several fortune 500 companies, and I think I can shed a little light on the climate of the open source community at the moment. I believe that part of the reason that open source based startups are failing left and right is not an issue of marketing as it's commonly believed but more of an issue of the underlying technology.

I know that that's a strong statement to make, but I have evidence to back it up! At one of the major corps(5000+ employees) that I consult for, we wanted to integrate Linux into our server pool. The allure of not having to pay any restrictive licensing fees was too great to ignore. I reccomended the installation of several boxes running the new 2.4.9 kernel, and my hopes were high that it would perform up to snuff with the Windows 2k boxes which were(and still are!) doing an AMAZING job at their respective tasks of serving HTTP requests, DNS, and fileserving.

I consider myself to be very technically inclined having programmed in VB for the last 8 years doing kernel level programming. I don't believe in C programming because contrary to popular belief, VB can go just as low level as C and the newest VB compiler generates code that's every bit as fast. I took it upon myself to configure the system from scratch and even used an optimised version of gcc 3.1 to increase the execution speed of the binaries. I integrated the 3 machines I had configured into the server pool, and I'd have to say the results were less than impressive... We all know that linux isn't even close to being ready for the desktop, but I had heard that it was supposed to perform decently as a "server" based operating system. The 3 machines all went into swap immediately, and it was obvious that they weren't going to be able to handle the load in this "enterprise" environment. After running for less than 24 hours, 2 of them had experienced kernel panics caused by Bind and Apache crashing! Granted, Apache is a volunteer based project written by weekend hackers in their spare time while Microsft's IIS has an actual professional full fledged development team devoted to it. Not to mention the fact that the Linux kernel itself lacks any support for any type of journaled filesystem, memory protection, SMP support, etc, but I thought that since Linux is based on such "old" technology that it would run with some level of stability. After several days of this type of behaviour, we decided to reinstall windows 2k on the boxes to make sure it wasn't a hardware problem that was causing things to go wrong. The machines instantly shaped up and were seamlessly reintegrated into the server pool with just one Win2K machine doing more work than all 3 of the Linux boxes.

Needless to say, I won't be reccomending Linux/FSF to anymore of my clients. I'm dissappointed that they won't be able to leverege the free cost of Linux to their advantage, but in this case I suppose the old adage stands true that, "you get what you pay for." I would have also liked to have access to the source code of the applications that we're running on our mission critical systems; however, from the looks of it, the Microsoft "shared source" program seems to offer all of the same freedoms as the GPL.

As things stand now, I can understand using Linux in academia to compile simple "Hello World" style programs and learn C programming, but I'm afraid that for anything more than a hobby OS, Windows 98/NT/2K are your only choices.

thank you.

Re:My Experience With Linux (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2347994)

Dude, that's funny! Nice troll.

Re:My Experience With Linux (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2348018)

You write a very nice verbage. To bad that you got your head shoved so far up Bill Gates arse to ever know any better. Maybe they didn't perform as good as your microcrap servers. And maybe you also don't have the slightest clue how to setup a linux server and optimize it for the best performance. Sorry but just because you say so doesn't mean its so. Linux runs on some of the highest volume servers in the world and well it does great for them. So take a class, get a book, find a geek who can teach you to wield your OS, but don't pretend to be a linux expert just because you failed.

Of course everyone steals from BSD (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2347957)

Why innovate when you can steal the best?

No surprise (-1, Troll)

Grim Metamoderator (178266) | more than 12 years ago | (#2347960)

After all, free software is inherently about theft of intellectual property. Why would you expect free software developers to be any more respectful of the rights of other free software developers than they are of the rights of companies that invest a lot of money in the development of proprietary software?

Pretty sad, indeed. (2, Flamebait)

dinotrac (18304) | more than 12 years ago | (#2347969)

First GNOME steals from khtml without attribution and now this.
Oh -- and steals is the right term.
This is one of the few ways you can steal BSD'd code. The license lets you do pretty much whatever you want.

Proper attribution is not a big thing to ask, especially as meager compensation to a job well done. If the code's worth taking, it's certainly worth attributing.

The worst part is that it allows the Microsofts of this world to say that free developers really aren't that different from themselves.
Phooey.

Sets a good example (5, Insightful)

jekk (15278) | more than 12 years ago | (#2347972)

Please folks, remember this the next time /. posts some s [slashdot.org] t [slashdot.org] o [slashdot.org] r [slashdot.org] y [slashdot.org] about a violation of the GPL liscense. Give them a chance, after it's been pointed out, to resolve things peacefully.

Of course, I wouldn't propose that we allow violations of open source liscenses to continue unchecked, just that the opportunity for good faith resolutions be allowed before crying "Boycott!".

BSD is dying ! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2347975)

Solaris saved you in your workplace, and yet you treated it like garbage.
And that's what you are, the King of Refuse. So bow down to SlashDot if you want. Bow to it. Bow to the King of Slime, the King of Filth, the King of putrescence!

Boo !

Boo !

Rubbish! Filth! Slime! Muck! BOO! BOO! BOO!

Non-enforceable? (1)

NineNine (235196) | more than 12 years ago | (#2347985)

So, now that this happens, how is it prevented? How is it fixed? Can one non-existent organization sue another non-existent corporation? It doesn't seem to be very enforceable.

a lesson for the Linux community... (2, Insightful)

digitalmuse (147154) | more than 12 years ago | (#2347987)

This should really be addresses as a wider issue in the Linux community. While we all place great importance on the 'open-source' movement, we also need to ensure that Linux polices it's own code-base and keeps itself in compliance with the GPL, and other license-of-the-week trends.
We must try and validate our work in in the eyes of the corporate (and IP-trigger-happy) environment that we are trying to penetrate if we want to get accepted as a viable option.
hmmm, where will we find this kind of un-attributed code violations next? I sure as hell don't want to have Microsoft breathing down my neck because someone recycled propriatry code and invited the bull into the china shop.

food for thought
(caffine for action)

Another argument for free software? (5, Insightful)

melquiades (314628) | more than 12 years ago | (#2347990)

Developers give all kinds of reasons for developing free software -- noble spirit, peer respect, etc. -- but one of the big ones is all the shit you don't have to deal with.

Case in point: there is every reason to think that this author's name will be included with his code in the next release of the Linux kernel source. Think how vastly different this situation would be if this were about theft of proprietary code. Here, nobody's company is at stake, and nobody stands to lose by doing the right thing -- so there are no stupid lawsuits and no hard feelings. At least, I hope it plays out this way ... but the odds are with it.

Forget all this paranoia about the venemous GPL. Proprietary code has a really, really high cost of ownership; at a certain point, it's just not worth it. Free is just so ... easy. Yay!

Credit must be for the right reasons (4, Insightful)

z7209 (305927) | more than 12 years ago | (#2348012)

Bravo to Soren: he wants credit for the hard work he did. I 100% agree that it should have been done and is deplorable that it wasn't.

I would like to point out though that there is a strong argument that it was precisely that hard work rather than intellectual property that was stolen. Bear with me, and no knee-jerk mods please:

(1) A structure is just that: a structure. If there is intellectual property there it is in the original designer of the structure.

If this was a structure in nature (such as the human genome or what have you) then there are plenty of people who disagree with it being anyone's IP at all. Unfortunately, in the wisdom of capitalist democracy some people think that they *own* all of our tomatoes.

But this isn't nature, and someone did plan and write these structures and deserves credit. And Soren deserves plenty too for figuring it out and giving it to the world.

(2) You could say that his comments are IP, and that's a pretty strong argument. So perhaps there is more than just good old hard work here. However, it's possible these are just titles of the data structure elements, and titles aren't exactly covered by the same IP standards as other IP.

Oh well. I don't want to take away from the important work, and certainly nothing from Soren's credit. Just some food for thought.

Innovation.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2348016)

Yeah.. So this is the "innovation" you so often hear that Microsoft is lacking. Yup. Ohh-kay.

A common source? (2, Interesting)

MarkusQ (450076) | more than 12 years ago | (#2348019)

Before we get too up in arms, is it possible that they both drew from a common source (app notes, published specs, etc.)? Code can look similar for many reasons. I recall, for example, a university "cheater detection" program that "caught" a large number of cheaters--in a course on code reuse--because they had used identical variable names, layout, etc. It was subsequently discovered that they had all noticed that the problem given was a minor variation on an example given in their textbook, and had used that as a starting point.

-- MarkusQ

But that's nothing!! (1, Funny)

Seph (38441) | more than 12 years ago | (#2348031)

Look at every C book, they stole word by word my helloworld.c program that I wrote some time ago!!

Not the first time (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2348039)

I don't want to start anything here, but I used to work with Andre Hedrick [linux-ide.org] , the IDE driver maintainer - and this sort of thing has happened before. Andre is a very talented programmer and a hard worker, but he was roundly regarded as a bit of a credit hog at our former employer. And it's unfortunate, but it seems like that really got him in a heap of trouble this time.

I don't harbor any resentment against the guy, but this was bound to happen sooner or later. I'm sorry it had to turn out this way.

-anon
(yes, I have an account; no, I'm not going to use it here)

BSD finally gets what has been coming to it. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2348040)

And now, it is time to finish it off for good.
Read on to see for why.

Following the tragedies in New York and Washington, once again, the elected powers ignore the best interests of the people and follow the path laid out to them by big business. How long will we sit idly by and allow our rights to be eroded? Once, America would justifiably claim to be 'land of the free'. Now, it seems that even European countries treat their citizens better - even the ones, like Britain, that have subjects instead.
I see much bravado on Slashdot, people looking for ways to stick it to the man, to hold on to their rights, individuality and pride. But I see no action. A misled few donate to the EFF, but what do the EFF do? They are just money-grubbing lawyers like any other. They retire to the Caribbean on the back of our ever-decreasing liberty.
Recently it has become apparant to me that the source of this inactivity is the BSD camp. It is ironic that the ones who so haughtily proclaim that their choice of software license is more free than all others do so little to protect our fundamental rights. Indeed, many of the big names in the BSD community have moved away from the home of freedom to Canada and other socialist backwaters. They don't care about liberty, that's why they ran away.
I have a suggestion to make. If current proposed legislation were to go through, perhaps effectively banning Open Source in the process, surely the 'most free' code should be the first to go? Perhaps, by 'sacrificing' the BSD code, the true Free code (that which is GPL'd) could be saved.
I have already written to my congressman with this proposal, and I strongly encourage all Free Software supporters to do the same. Remember, email is often ignored, so write. We cannot sit idly by while our rights are stripped from us. If you know where any BSD advocates live, it is your duty to alert the FBI, the CIA and the other protectors of our way of life. Only by their incarceration can our code (and theirs, that we have 'reclaimed') remain free and our dream alive.

Thank you.

Copyright 2001 Richard M. Stallman.
Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article are permitted in any medium provided the copyright notice and this notice are preserved.

hehe... (0)

Matrix12 (242932) | more than 12 years ago | (#2348042)

This is a common practice in the closed source software arena. I cleanroom open-source all the time.

It's amusing to see how long this went unnoticed in the open source arena. I wonder how much of the kernel has been "inspired" from commercial code.
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