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GPL Code Found In OpenBSD Wireless Driver

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the cross-licensing dept.

Wireless Networking 671

NormalVisual writes "The mailing lists were buzzing recently when Michael Buesch, one of the maintainers for the GPL'd bc43xx Broadcom wireless chip driver project, called the OpenBSD folks to task for apparently including code without permission from his project in the OpenBSD bcw project, which aims to provide functionality with Broadcom wireless chips under that OS. It seems that the problem has been resolved for now with the BSD driver author totally giving up on the project and Theo De Raadt taking the position that Buesch's posts on the subject were 'inhuman.'" More commentary from the BSD community is over at undeadly.org.

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671 comments

Summary: Theo went over the top (5, Informative)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 7 years ago | (#18647783)

This was discussed on Technocrat a few days ago. Apparently the Linux kernel developer did not wish Broadcom to take advantage of his work in proprietary products. Given Broadcom's record of having a number of undocumented, closed-driver-only products that we have to reverse-engineer, and having some proprietary drivers that IMO violate the GPL on the kernel, I can see why he'd feel that way. The BSD developer was an accomplished BSD committer and should have known better. The Linux developer offered to relicense some of his code under BSD. Theo decided to turn it into a human-rights issue with great flamag. The BSD developer walked off in a huff.

The whole thing lasted two days, much less than the blog and news coverage. Someone will come along and write this driver for BSD, and the BSD developer will have some well-deserved cooling-off time.

Bruce

Well, Theo is something of an asshat (5, Insightful)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 7 years ago | (#18647825)

One should never expect him to see the other side of an issue.

Re:Well, Theo is something of an asshat (5, Interesting)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 7 years ago | (#18647877)

Theo is a real sharp programmer, and an eloquent writer when he wants to be. I met him once. I went to shake his hand. I swear, he did not notice. This left me to think that when Theo commits social gaffes, it is not his fault and he can't help himself. We all have our lacks, issues, and strengths.

Bruce

Re:Well, Theo is something of an asshat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18647991)

Don't mean to speak for de Raadt, but he may have ignored you on purpose, Perns. =P

Re:Well, Theo is something of an asshat (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18648013)

"Fault" isn't a very useful attribution, since it doesn't impact change how one behaves and relates. He can be a very loyal and helpful person, and he can be a grade-A asshole, and that is the way it is, regardless of why. There's a reason he was drummed out of NetBSD, even if the end result was a net positive.

The FreeBSD folks would be interested in some BSD licensed driver code, and it can filter downstream to OpenBSD. I hope Buesch hasn't been completely turned off the idea.

Re:Well, Theo is something of an asshat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18648105)

Bruce,

Or he's truly just the horses ass we have all learned to love and he ignored you on purpose.

actually he probably could (1)

hildi (868839) | more than 7 years ago | (#18648227)

the science of the mind has advanced in recent years and things like 'complete asshat ism' are treatable by professionals in the field.

the problem is that mental illness is the only illness where people don't want to get better. i think dr. drew said something like that in his book 'cracked'.

Re:Well, Theo is something of an asshat (4, Insightful)

n6mod (17734) | more than 7 years ago | (#18648257)

This left me to think that when Theo commits social gaffes, it is not his fault and he can't help himself.

Though, it is important to know your limitations. In particular, you'd think that he should remain silent on the social gaffes of others.

It's pretty hard to take criticism of interpersonal skills from Theo seriously.

Re:Well, Theo is something of an asshat (4, Insightful)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 7 years ago | (#18648377)

Some people don't give a fuck. That's a decision.

To make it out to be some psychological issue or some such nonsense dismisses the choices of those who made the decision to give a shit about other people and not be an asshole.

Skip the third party apologies, call it what it is and accept it or don't accept it.

Typo, and more data. (3, Informative)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 7 years ago | (#18647839)

That's "flamage", not "flamag". Sorry.

And by the way, first post :-) . OK, I'm a subscriber, I guess that's cheating.

Here is the Technocrat.net discussion [technocrat.net] of the same issue.

Bruce

Re:Summary: Theo went over the top (5, Funny)

Mr. Flibble (12943) | more than 7 years ago | (#18647849)

Bruce, you can't keep coming in here and providing reasoned commentary. I mean, how will all us slashbots have a good old fashioned flamewar circa 1999? ;)

Re:Summary: Theo went over the top (4, Informative)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 7 years ago | (#18647947)

Just don't flame on Technocrat.net . Or do flame, and I'll have no problem using that "delete" button in a way that Tio Paco :-) doesn't do here.

Actually, there is a time and place for flame wars. Justified anger is better than sitting aside while bad stuff happens. But this particular encounter did not justify the anger Theo displayed.

Bruce

Re:Summary: Theo went over the top (5, Interesting)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | more than 7 years ago | (#18647869)

His position is completely rational for those of us who have worked with Broadcom. Even their closed source stuff is often junk and requires tremendous effort to work around, with poor support and impossible management. Even after signing NDAs and GETTING chip specs or sample code, you're still left out in the dark.

Anything that manages to get out in the free world needs to stay there, and any reasonable person will do his best to ensure it does. Further, using the GPL as a weapon against Broadcom, forcing them to open up their specs is really to the collective advantage of everyone.

Re:Summary: Theo went over the top (4, Insightful)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 7 years ago | (#18648299)

You know, it's OK to use a GPL driver in BSD code. It causes a phenomenon that the BSD folks really hate, though, which is that the GPL applies to the entire product. But that would have been fine for temporary development. The real problem was the lack of proper attribution of the copyright and license. I see no way for the Linux developer to have rectified that lack other than through a public notice, because it would not have been proper for anyone to be left thinking his code was under the BSD license. It was his right to say publicly that it was not. Perhaps he could have contacted Theo privately and gotten him to do so. But given people who react the way Theo sometimes does, I think the best protection one can have is to do everything in the open where others can see.

Bruce

Broadcom using bcm43xx code? Hah! (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18647895)

Oh come off it, GPL guys.
Broadcom taking advantage of the bcm43xx code? I don't think so.

bcm43xx team Reverse Engineered the spec. Broadcom, on the other hand designed the damn thing. So, they have paid software engineers, and those guys can probably talk to the hardware engineers, etc.

How any code from a reverse engineered spec that blatantly just guesses at a lot of things is better than something written with the docs is far beyond me.

Michael Busch's whole argument that they GPL'ed the damn thing because they didn't want Broadcom to take advantage of their work is BS. They have different motives here. Even if they licensed their bcm43xx work as BSD, Broadcom would not even look at it for inclusion. So I don't know what the bcm43xx developers have their panties up in a wad about. They just wanted to make a fuss.

BeOS, an operating system for grownups (5, Funny)

hildi (868839) | more than 7 years ago | (#18647919)

Fast on the heels of Ballmer's tantrums and chair throwing, the BSD community was today wracked again by the borderline personality disorders and rageaholics that permeate the open source movement. Theo De Raadt, founder of the Open BSD Brigade, in an apparent fit of anger, threw his fist through a wall as he was cussing out an acolyte of Chairman Richard Stallman, leader of the competing marxist organization, the Free Stalin Foundation.

Hans Reiser, an open source maven who murdered his wife in cold blood, commented from prison that open source programmers had no abnormal personality problems, and were all "very smart people, very intelligent." Eric Raymon, fresh from a trip to the Paul Revere Institute Convention and Bondage Festival in Las Vegas, echoed these comments: "What the world doesn't understand, is that we are geniuses. There is nothing wrong with using strong language to intimidate idiotarians and freedom hating anti-gun liberazis".

Steve Jobs, emerging from a meditation chamber in his northern california home, opined that "he would fire half his open source staff" that night, as they had failed to properly implement a bitwise portrait of the mona lisa on the back of the motherboard for the new Apple Yojimbo motherboard family, slated to debut this fall.

The BeOS developers, currently washing dishes at a Sacramento Olive Garden, had the following comments: "Yeah, we are kinda bummed that we lost all that money. But frankly, I'm kind of glad to be done with those freaks. Apple, Microsoft, Lunix, what a bunch of creeps and sociopaths."

Echoed his boss "Johnny called in sick so I need you to work late tonight, is that OK?"

--

(parts of this story were contributed by James Gandalfini)

Re:Summary: Theo went over the top (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18648063)

umm, what, you don't go online often? PUBLICALLY emailing about an issue INSTEAD of PRIVATELY emailing is much BETTER than harassing them on the mailing list.

Re:Summary: Theo went over the top (4, Insightful)

rben (542324) | more than 7 years ago | (#18648251)

I think this might have been handled better, but mostly on the BSD side. If they'd "borrowed" code from a corporation, their first notification might have been a lawsuit, not a widely distributed posting.

It's no surprise that stuff like this gets blown up out of proportion. Quite a few people who work in software, myself included, aren't the most diplomatic types. Still, maturity is ignoring other peoples bad behavior and trying to work out your differences amicably. I think Marcus showed a great deal of restraint. I would have been incredibly angry if I'd been in his situation and I'm not sure I'd have been nearly so forgiving.

While it maybe a tempest in a teapot, it's a lesson for all of us. We all look like doofuses (how do you spell the plural of doofus?) when we air our grievances in public.

Take a breath, relax, go have a beer. Then find a way to work together.

My 1.9888888 cents worth.

Re:Summary: Theo went over the top (3, Funny)

lysdexia (897) | more than 7 years ago | (#18648391)

The plural of "doofus" is "doofusis" (pronounced Doo-Fah-SEE-z). A group of doofasis ruled by a single doofus is a "Doofusate".

As in: "The prime Doofus among Doofusis in this Doofusate is Lysdexia, since his indoofation was initiated in doofanum 1999."

It's simple, really.

Re:Summary: Theo went over the top (-1, Flamebait)

kernelpanicked (882802) | more than 7 years ago | (#18648343)

With all due respect Bruce, I'm going to have to disagree with you on this one. To start with, lets get it straight. The GPL is a license that covers distribution. Now I don't personally know what kind of development you've been involved in but commiting to cvs is not and has never been distribution. It's called revision control. On top of that it was a few minor functions and variable names used as placeholders. The Linux code was never going to be distributed under a BSD license. To put it bluntly, the BSD folks don't want or need viral code polluting their systems. The mistake here was that the BSD developer should have considered the fact that technically, yes, someone with a bone to pick could see the CVS tree as distribution channel. He should have left the necessary attribution on the code for the time being.

Even at that, if the Linux developer had an issue, he should have sent a private email and requested an explanation of what exactly was going on. What he did was make a total ass of himself, and draw out every GPL zealot for 900 miles to attack a BSD developer for doing something that is quite frankly normal and happens daily.

And everyone has to take a shot at Theo right? Well let's see. Did Theo go a bit overboard? Yep. Doesn't he always? Yep. Was he totally justified? You're damn straight he was.

Following the E-Mail Thread (5, Informative)

theunixman (538211) | more than 7 years ago | (#18648379)

I managed to catch front-row seats to the whole battle myself. Buesch (the Linux bcm43xx developer) posted a formal but not in any way harsh question to the BSD developer on the public bcm43xx list and to the BSD list. In any language, when communicating in unfamiliar places with unfamiliar people, using more formal dialects is almost always the rule. Some people find the higher dialects offensive, but almost everyone appreciates the attempts to not sound like one of the local street punks hanging out around the corner at the strip mall trolling for some action.

Apparently the OpenBSD people were put off by this, which is unfortunate. And apparently they were so focused on making it yet another OpenBSD vs The World incident that they completely lost sight of the goal of both projects, which is to create Free and Open drivers for other people to use, despite the hardware specifications not being available. It's an unfortunate situation, of course.

Hopefully after everyone has a chance to reflect on the situation, the OpenBSD developers will realize that even though many other situations are actually OpenBSD vs The World, this is not one of them, and the Linux bcm-43xx team was not only willing to work with them on relicensing code, they also published the results of an incredible reverse engineering effort for anyone, including the OpenBSD team, to use in order to achieve this goal.

Re:Summary: Theo went over the top (1, Insightful)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 7 years ago | (#18648413)

Apparently the Linux kernel developer did not wish Broadcom to take advantage of his work in proprietary products

Just how likely is it that there is anything in the Linux driver that would be useful to Broadcom? Broadcom already has fully functional proprietary drivers for their chips.

The BSD folks seem to be whiners (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18647811)

http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.linux.kernel.wireles s.general/1558 [gmane.org]

"Wow, that's a hell of a long cc list for a request for a fair
resolution. the last 3 lines are mellow, but the body before that was
not very nice."


As if misappropriating source code is "nice"...

"We always try to make our stuff as clean as possible too."

Obviously, not "always".

The copying - if it was extensive as claimed - was hardly inadvertent. So Buesch has a complete right to be pissed about his code being stolen.

And the BSD folks are whining about him being pissed.

Meh.

Re:The BSD folks seem to be whiners (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18647861)

Did you read the entire thing?
The dude took the code with the intent to replace it. He /has/ been replacing it for several months -- so it's not like he was going to let it sit. He committed it so others could help him with it. It wasn't "released" yet.

"We always try to make our stuff as clean as possible too." Obviously, not "always".

Moron -- they always /try/. But perhaps you read that and are trolling.

Ironically, my image word for the Slashdot captcha is "consent". haha.

You are also, apparently, advocating being an asshole to anyone who "steals" code instead of trying to be nice and say "uhh, dudes, you fucked up. get it out". It's people like YOU that make businesses not want to use Linux or BSD. I hope that helps you sleep better.

Re:The BSD folks seem to be whiners (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18647985)

You are also, apparently, advocating being an asshole to anyone who "steals" code instead of trying to be nice and say "uhh, dudes, you fucked up. get it out".

Eh? He offered to licence at least parts of it to BSD (it would make no sense to licence it all, since then it'd not be GPL protected any more). Why is offering to licence code, to someone who stole it without asking in the first place, being an asshole, but saying "you fucked up, get it out" is cool?

The BSD guy's first response shows what an asshat he was - explicity saying that he stole it with the intention of then rewriting it bit by bit to circumvent the copyright. Nice clean room implementation eh? Not that he'd got as far as the bit by bit cirumvention - he'd only progressed as far as the blatant stealing.

So, BSD was *deriving* their driver from GPL code? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18647989)

Starting with a source code A and morphing it into B over time pretty much makes B a derivative work of A. Buesch has a right to be pissed - your defense is that the BSD folks were deriving their driver from GPL code.

Wriggle out of that, asshat.

And if the code wasn't released, how'd Buesch get it?

You called me a moron? Calling you brainless would be an insult to an anencephalic baboon.

Re:The BSD folks seem to be whiners (5, Insightful)

Omega996 (106762) | more than 7 years ago | (#18648151)

eh, a lot of whining on both sides occurred - the whole thing could definitely have been handled much more professionally and politely by both sides. Buesch could've contacted Glocker privately via email and asked him to remove the copyrighted material from CVS, and encouraged him to contact the copyright holders-in-question if he were interested in obtaining assistance in getting his bcw driver to work. It's called giving him "the benefit of the doubt."
The interests of expediency (notifying Glocker and the other copyright holders, as well as people who did the reverse-engineering (wtf? why? I still can't figure that one out)) didn't serve either group's PR interests. Now people are lining up on the tired BSD/ISC vs. GPL battlefront again, fighting over something that only involves a few developers. I don't think Glocker should've committed that GPL nonsense into CVS, but I do think he should've been given a chance privately to correct his mistake. All this hassle and stupid flamewar because simple politeness was dispensed with. Gad, I'm glad I don't work on anything involving these groups.

Re:The BSD folks seem to be whiners (1)

Omega996 (106762) | more than 7 years ago | (#18648231)

the second para should read (snip)The interests of expediency (notifying Glocker and the other copyright holders, as well as people who did the reverse-engineering (wtf? why? I still can't figure that one out) in a public forum)(/snip). dammit, always fscked when I don't preview.

Re:The BSD folks seem to be whiners (5, Informative)

phoenix.bam! (642635) | more than 7 years ago | (#18648309)

Except if this was done in private no one who pulled the tainted code from the public CVS would know. There would be copies of the code floating around in public that were in violation of the GPL. It had to be public to guarantee everyone knows (Especially Broadcom) that the BSD code in the public tree is actually GPL code.

Linux vs. OpenBSD (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18647855)

From Trollaxor [trollaxor.com]

I received the email first thing in the morning from the IT department. Our network would be undergoing a major overhaul to correct the ad hoc growth it had experienced in the last year, and starting next week Internet access would be sporadic. There would also be a new firewall and security measures, replacing the old OpenBSD system I'd managed to get installed last Spring. Happy for the heads-up, I went to work right away to make sure Linux had no place on our network. This was not the first time that I had faced this threat.

About a year ago our network guy, the Open Source Mullet, was asked to draw up firewall plans. He was your typical GNU-slinger save that he had a cascade of flowing hair down the back of his head instead of a beard hanging from his face. And yeah, you can guess what he thought those firewalls were gonna run. I'd caught wind of the plans, however, and had charts, graphs, and comparisons written up detailing OpenBSD and Linux security. Since this GNU guy had a mullet and dressed like a slob, I got taken seriously. Not to mention my data impenetrable to any hippie logic. OpenBSD was more secure even to the beancounters and idiot management. So thanks to me, our firewalls happily ran OpenBSD and not Linux, which would have buffer-overflowed into no-man's land every other hour. The Open Source Mullet gave me a lot of dirty looks forever after, though.

Since the Open Source Mullet had been canned, a new threat had arisen at my workplace: the Fat Perl Hacker had assumed most of the Open Source Mullet's system and network administration duties, and it was no mystery to anyone at my workplace that he had a hard-on for Linux tucked away under his enormous, cascading gut. Since he was a major suck-up and workaholic, he had a lot more credibility than the Open Source Mullet -- this would be a real challenge for once. Dealing with the Open Source Mullet had been cake.

That night, I went to work on my strategy. First, I would document the changes in Linux and OpenBSD since a year ago when we last went with a security plan. Linux was still at version 2.4, while OpenBSD had raced from version 2.8 to 3.1 -- a major revision! This was good so far, and I included the relevant diffs for each. I wondered what the Fat Perl Hacker was up to and pushed ahead with my preparations.

Tuesday morning, I went to talk with the VP of Operations, who had final say on the network project. I wouldn't leave anything to chance. But after chatting with him for a few minutes, I learned of a major monkey-wrench I hadn't expected: instead of a Unix firewall system, he was planning on installing a dedicated firewall box -- running Windows XP. Thankful for my fortuitous social engineering, I went back to my desk and began making over my strategy to deal with this new threat. Not only would I have to deal with Linux, I'd have to eschew the Windows option now.

Sitting in front of my iBook after work, I realized that taking on Windows XP in the same manner I was going to deal with Linux would be foolish if not wasteful. Obviously the Windows option was not about numbers, anecdotes, or experience. It was a bean-counting decision and all of the security statistics in the world wouldn't matter. Since I hadn't the foggiest about how our accountants viewed the whole operation and didn't have time to learn, I'd have implement a rapid-fire real-life assault on the Windows box, which was sitting on the VP's desk awaiting its place on the network. It was time to put on my Black Hat, and that night I stayed up until 02:00 researching Windows XP vulnerabilities. Linux would have to wait.

With just two days before the network changeover was to take place, I marched into work Wednesday morning knowing that what I did in the next few hours would decide the fate of our network security. To my surprise, just moments after I had sat down, the Fat Perl Hacker asked me to join him for a cigarette outside -- away from the ears and eyes of the office. 15 minutes later, I was fully aware of the precarious situation I was in.

Joining forces with the Fat Perl Hacker was something I had thought about but hadn't wanted to consider. It was a double-edged sword, and I wasn't about to kid myself. Although I am damn good, he had another full decade of experience over me and that included office politics. If we aided each other I ran the risk of pushing for Linux, even if inadvertently. And I certainly wasn't about to reveal my anti-Linux research to him. After doing some quick scheming, I agreed to help the Fat Perl Hacker dissuade the VP from using Windows XP -- but I had my own twist to what would follow after. Knowing my shortcomings, I decided to do the only thing that would give me an edge. And that was doing something that I knew better than anyone else at my office: playing dirty.

After a power-lunch of strategizing, the Fat Perl Hacker and I went to work on cracking the Windows XP box into oblivion. We then called back to the VP and told him to load the web administration page on the firewall box. A few minutes later he was standing in my cubicle smiling. I already had a print-out of the exploits we had used and handed them to him without a word. After looking it over for a minute, he shook his head and chewed his lip. He looked at the Fat Perl Hacker and me and told us to have something more secure ready by tomorrow morning before returning to his office. Now it was crunch time. The Fat Perl Hacker smiled at me in victory, and I smiled back at him in anticipation of putting my grand plot to work.

Now early Thursday morning, I revised my anti-Linux, pro-OpenBSD presentation into an airtight backup. I would use it as my last-ditch effort in case my primary plan failed. And that primary plan just happened to be underhanded, dirty, scandalous, unfair, and full of treason. After closing PowerPoint X I carefully downloaded and burned Slackware and OpenBSD 3.1 on the same brand of blanks the the Fat Perl Hacker used. I happened to know, thanks to some late-night overtime I put in the night before, that the Fat Perl Hacker was planning on presenting a burnt CD of Slackware as the solution to our firewall problem. Now if only I wasn't so scatter-brained and mislabeled burnt CDs so easily!

After a few brief hours of sleep, I waltzed into the VP's office, asking when we would have our meeting about the firewall. He asked me if 30 minutes was OK, to which I said was fine, and also asked that I go and ask the Fat Perl Hacker if that was good for him as well. Back in the cubicle farm, I told the Fat Perl Hacker that the VP wanted to talk to him about the meeting. I had about 45 seconds in his empty cubicle to find his Slackware CD, replace it with my mislabeled OpenBSD CD, and book it back to my cubicle to put on an innocent face. I just barely made it as I passed him on the way back to my seat. Wiping the sweat from my brow, I read my email for the next 28 minutes.

The moment of truth had finally arrived as I sat down in the conference room in front of a newly-purchased, bare Pentium4 PC. The Fat Perl Hacker joined me and the VP moments later and we got down to business. The VP smiled and said he knew we both probably had our own ideas about network security, and he wanted to hear them both. Playing the fool I volunteered to let the Fat Perl Hacker present his solution first. I tried vainly to suppress a smile as he slipped his CD from its sleeve. Holding it up, he said the magic words I had counted on him saying:

This is all we'll ever need to keep the network secure.

A few beeps and whirs later from the PC and the Fat Perl Hacker was greeted by OpenBSD 3.1, ready to format and install on the hard drive. Not waiting a second for his jaw to unslacken, I jumped up, slapped the table, and exclaimed that I couldn't have picked better myself, shaking my own burnt CD in the air. What a coincidence! And things just got better from there. So much better, in fact, that I didn't even need to bust out my PowerPoint presentation. It turned out that Fiscal wanted an answer right then and there, I heard through the freshly-answered phone, and the VP didn't waste an instant telling them he was on his way. That is, before informing the Fat Perl Hacker that he was about to get assigned a bunch of new security modules to customize and that I'd have to do the firewall install and configuration. The L-word hadn't even been uttered during the meeting and I was homefree.

The weekend overtime didn't bother me at all. I got time-and-a-half for it and the firsthand opportunity to make sure OpenBSD would oversee the sanctity of our network. Things went so well that we didn't even have any network hiccups the next Monday morning. Despite the unexpected Windows XP push, the Fat Perl Hacker's Linux obsession, and a few variables left to chance, I had come through with flying colors and even impressed myself.

The Fat Perl Hacker, however, never invited me to join him for a cigarette again.

Theo is an idiot (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18647873)

His team were caught red-handed, and had the gall to blame the people who got ripped. He doesn't even seem to get copyright, saying there was no infringement because the driver wasn't yet ready for general use is beyond moronic.

Re:Theo is an idiot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18648437)

as others have stated in this thread- he committed the code to get things rolling and has been steadily replacing code and hoping others would as well. The driver isn't ready because all the GPL parts haven't been replaced yet. Moronic, I think not.

I am amazed (1, Insightful)

giorgiofr (887762) | more than 7 years ago | (#18647903)

I thought that open source was about sharing code.

Re:I am amazed (5, Insightful)

lbbros (900904) | more than 7 years ago | (#18647927)

Yes, but according to the licenses involved (in this case the GPL).

Re:I am amazed (5, Informative)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 7 years ago | (#18647997)

I thought Open Source was about sharing code

It is. This leaves the question of whether you are OK with some people who refuse to share. If the answer is no, use GPL. If yes, use BSD. You also have the option of using GPL, and asking for money from those who prefer exchanging money over sharing code, as MySQL does with its dual-licensing.

Bruce

Re:I am amazed (1, Troll)

VokinLoksar (1021515) | more than 7 years ago | (#18648145)

I don't know what your parents taught you, but for me sharing isn't "I have some cookies and I'd be glad to give you some, but only if you promise to share with others." No, it's "I have some cookies, here have some."

If you want to share, you'll do what the developer of SQLite does and place your work in the public domain. BSD is one step away from that, and GPL is not even close. It doesn't benefit anyone when you start adding artificial restrictions on your work. Create it, be proud of it, and let others use it as they wish. That's my philosophy.

Re:I am amazed (2, Insightful)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 7 years ago | (#18648261)

I more or less agree with you--I use FreeBSD over linux myself, and am not a huge GPL fan, but the situation is a bit different from the cookies example.

I'd say it's more like "here you can have this cookie recipe, you can do whatever you want with it (make cookies, sell them, etc) but if you change the recipe AND distribute the cookies to anyone else, you have to be willing to share the recipe too"

Re:I am amazed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18648279)

>>I don't know what your parents taught you, but for me sharing isn't "I have some cookies and I'd be glad to give you some, but only if you promise to share with others." No, it's "I have some cookies, here have some."

To take this analogy a little bit further, imagine the big bully on the block comming and taking all of your cookies. He then refuses to share any of them unless you pay him. That is what the GPL prevents.

Re:I am amazed (1)

thryllkill (52874) | more than 7 years ago | (#18648281)

Well your philosophy is not the philosophy of the driver in question's author. And since he is the author he gets to say how it gets shared.

Btw, software and cookies, two very different things.

Re:I am amazed (1)

LordNimon (85072) | more than 7 years ago | (#18648293)

Would you share your cookies with the class bully? If the answer is yes, then you'd prefer the BSD license. If the answer is no, then you'd prefer the GPL.

Generousity (1)

Morosoph (693565) | more than 7 years ago | (#18648355)

You're missing that there's more than one way to be generous.

If my motive is to help free software, rather than give away my code, I can do so more effectively by putting the code under the GPL than BSD or Public Domain. This doesn't need rancour; just the observation that some of the free software that is out there is only there because of conditions of licence.

On top of that, there is an efficiency issue; encouraging speciation between free and proprietry software aids the market in selecting the more efficient mode of production, without being influenced by cross-subsidy (free software that is then used to help proprietry software).

Re:I am amazed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18648415)

It doesn't benefit anyone when you start adding artificial restrictions on your work.
Really? Just like we all benefited when the Wine source used to create WineX without anything useful being contributed back? If you release a program under a BSD-esque license then there is nothing you can do to prevent some commercial entity from embracing your product, extending it by making some proprietary additions, and finally making your product irrelevant by taking most of your users and removing any compatibility between their version and yours.

Re:I am amazed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18648003)

It's a GPL vs BSD license thing.
Some people really don't care. Some people think of it as life and death. Some view it as more of a spiritual thing.
Personally, I'm more of a BSD license kind of guy. I don't care of a business takes it and throws it in their package -- so long as I get credit for it.
Others think that businesses shouldn't be allowed to do that and any code changes they make MUST be released. This usually hurts more than helps projects because companies view that as wasted hours. What's the point if you have to give it away for free? Well, the point is to get the shit working the way you need it. But companies don't view it like that. Some do, but only a very small few.

Even Windows has some BSD licensed code in it (or at least had it in XP, I'm unsure about Vista). Theo thinks anything other than the BSD license stifles Open Source Software because it's not truly FREE. It's arguable whether he is right or not (otherwise everyone would use one or the other). The war going on, with licensing, is more of a belief thing than anything. The war going on /that/ mailing list was more of a "we didn't do it on purpose vs. yes, you stole the code and relicensed it on purpose". The argument was that the guy checked in a ton of GPL'ed code and relicensed it (to his license) with the intent of changing everything to his code. He checked it in to CVS so others could help him. It was in -current (meaning it wasn't release worthy). He had made lots of checkins replacing the code -- meaning his intent was to change it -- and the other side got pissy. This is, of course, my interpretation of the list of mails.

Re:I am amazed (1)

Kristoph (242780) | more than 7 years ago | (#18648039)

Yes, well .... it is ... but GPL limits with whom you can share and that is the crux of the issue. By imposing that restrictions sharing, and freedom in general, is somewhat limited but, on the other hand, it does increase the overall pool of open source software.

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Re:I am amazed (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 7 years ago | (#18648193)

GPL limits with whom you can share


No, it's exactly the opposite. The GPL says no one can impose limitations on sharing. Once shared, forever shared. As long as everybody respects that basic principle, it's okay to share GPL code with anyone, including commercial companies. Even Microsoft uses some GPL code.


But of course, sharing cannot be imposed. If you don't agree with unlimited sharing, then use other licences, such as BSD, for instance. By taking GPL code and reissuing it under a BSD licence that lets users limit further sharing, you are effectively "stealing", or performing illegal copying from the author.

Re:I am amazed (5, Insightful)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 7 years ago | (#18648217)

but GPL limits with whom you can share

When you share, and the other party does not, that is not sharing any longer. That is a gift. It always entertains me that the people who protest that they are most deserving of gifts of source code from the community are those who refuse to share theirs.

Bruce

Re:I am amazed (1)

Whatsisname (891214) | more than 7 years ago | (#18648313)

I thought that open source was about sharing code.
You thought wrong. Open Source is merely a development methodology. Free Software is whats about sharing.

in other news (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18647925)

linux is still for fags.
 
fucking faggots!

Overreactions... (4, Insightful)

rthille (8526) | more than 7 years ago | (#18647933)


Deanna (I think it was Deanna anyway, based on the contributed by) overreacted to the email. The only thing unreasonable about the email that I saw was the wide distribution. The initial email from Michael Buesch, IMHO, should have gone to the comitter and the OpenBSD core team...

Re:Overreactions... (3, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18648065)

Yes, and you could tell from Theo's initial response that it was that wide distribution that really torqued him into a pretzel. Nobody likes having their dirty laundry aired in public (it immediately alienates the very people with which you are trying to communicate: as a tactic it should be a last resort) and it is that massive CC list that makes me ponder what Mr. Buesch's real motive could have been. From a practical standpoint, if he'd just wanted to resolve the issue he should have done what you said. Instead, he managed to turn a simple request into a two-day running conflict.

Maybe this is just an example of two developers with limited social skills stepping on each others toes. I don't know, it sure looks that way to me. Wouldn't be the first time I've seen something like this, that's for sure. Programmers are people too.

sad (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18647987)

As usual, the zealots jump to conclusions without reading everything.

The driver is deleted. Issue resolved. The point that Theo and gang are upset about is that Michael decided to take this whole thing public first, without even trying to contact Marcus first privately and asking "hey, what's up with this code in here? Can we resolve this?". Instead, Micheal threw Marcus to the zealot wolves.
That was wrong, and yes, inhuman. Theo complained about the handling of the issue, not the issue itself which was immediately resolved.

Theo even admitted that keeping the code in cvs was a mistake, and that it was a serious issue. The mistake being that Marcus left some GPL'd stub code in there that he fully meant to re-write. That was corrected by deleting the code. Case closed.

Please, get the facts straight. Just because Theo can be difficult to work with at times, doesn't give all you zealots a right to assume that this is always the case and that he is an unfair, asshole. In general he stands up more for open source rights than most of you other GPL zealots. And the OpenBSD project is more true to its goals and values than any linux distribution, by far. It's OK for linux distributions and gpl programmers to sign NDAs with companies like intel, broadcomm, to write a driver. But boy, when one of their own makes a mistake, lets drag him through the mud!

Childish. There are bigger battles to be fought, and this is a waste of energy.

Re:sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18648093)

Childish.

Yeah, not all grown up like calling people you disagree with "zealots" four times in a single post.

This is what the OpenBSD cultists does (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18648143)

I don't think I've ever seen the GPL mentioned on undeadly without being followed by the word zealots. Some moron even posted about how his respect for RMS after this debacle, as if he had anything to do with it.

I guess it's just sour grapes. After all, their little pet OS is pretty much an 70s technological backwater with an userbase about as big as that of AmigaOS.

Re:sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18648117)

The OpenBSD driver developer should've known better. If he exercised such bad judgement in the first place, maybe he would've reacted to the infringement notice by covering his tracks or doing something minimal. Theo certainly reacted in a defensive, not particulary cooperative fashion. I think the original developer was smart to distribute the notice to a wide net to make sure meaningful action would be taken, albeit with a good dose of surliness.

Re:sad (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18648289)

As usual, the zealots jump to conclusions without reading everything.
Yes, and to give you credit, at least you're admitting it. I doubt even Theo would make such an admission about himself.

The driver is deleted. Issue resolved.
Try this: grab someone's copyrighted code, and distribute it in violation of the license. Then when they drag you into court, just say "oh, I've deleted it now, issue resolved" and see how far that gets you.

The point that Theo and gang are upset about is that Michael decided to take this whole thing public
No, that's the excuse that Theo is using. The real reason that Theo is upset is that he got caught with his pants down.

The reason this was brought up in public is because it's public code. The OSS development model means that everything is public. If Theo doesn't want public discussions about public code, he should not be involved in development which involves everything happening in public.

Theo's excuse that "oh, it should have been done privately" is a smokescreen to try to distract people from the fact that someone on his team got caught violating copyright. It embarrassed him, and he got pissy about it.

Re:sad (1)

xs650 (741277) | more than 7 years ago | (#18648385)

Theo, first you get all pissy, then you post as an AC.

My favorite part... (5, Insightful)

mg2 (823681) | more than 7 years ago | (#18648001)

...is how you can scroll down past the cascade of de Raadt nonsense and find an actual reasonable response from the bcw maintainer himself!

Unfortunately, with so much noise coming from de Raadt, the only thing most people are going to see are his ridiculous responses.

I'm sure someone else has drawn this line before, but he reminds me of the OpenBSD mascot. Like a blowfish, he fills up with (hot) air when threatened and is very defensive.

Straw man attacks and ad hominem from Theo (5, Insightful)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 7 years ago | (#18648007)

If you read through the email conversation, you'll see a VERY diplomatic initial message from Michael, a straw-man attack from Theo ("Do you feel that Marcus should give up his efforts?"), a VERY reasonable response ("No, he should _not_ give up. The opposite is true. He should start to contact us to get relicensing permission from us to speed up bcw development and stay legal") and then profanity and rage from Theo.

The slashdot post, the weblog entry, and Theo's comments are all ad hominem, and baseless ad hominem at that- the core issue here is that GPL code was taken in violation of its license. The owner of the code contacted and admittedly large number of people, publicly, about it. It is hardly out of line given Theo's well-known grandstanding full of rhetoric (hardware drivers for OpenBSD come to mind.)

Michael pointed out the violation and asked the developer/OpenBSD people to contact him to work out relicensing the code. Instead, Theo attacked him relentlessly and repeatedly. After the first 6 posts between Theo and Michael, I felt sick and stopped reading.

Re:Straw man attacks and ad hominem from Theo (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18648121)

Man I dislike over used fallacies being thrown around. No, Theo seems to be upset because Buesch went public with what should have been initially a private affair.
Reputation and respect are insanely important to most developers and being accused in public of stealing someone's stuff is damaging.
Theo is responding with an appropriate amount of emotion if you ask me.
He just lost a developer over what was a mistake because some egotistical coder went public with something that out of respect should have been addressed privately first.

Re:Straw man attacks and ad hominem from Theo (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18648317)

Reputation and respect are insanely important to most developers and being accused in public of stealing someone's stuff is damaging.

Then keep said stuff the hell out of your public repository if you don't want problems.

Theo is responding with an appropriate amount of emotion if you ask me.

It was an appropriate amount of emotion for a pre-schooler, not for a 38 year old professional software engineer.

He just lost a developer over what was a mistake because some egotistical coder went public with something that out of respect should have been addressed privately first.

No, Theo lost a project because said developer wanted to be a drama queen and say, "fine, I'm taking my toys and going home!" instead of accepting Buesch's gracious offer of help and licensing for part of the code. I think he got his feelings hurt because Buesch called him on the issue publicly, and IMHO that's just too bad for him.

Re:Straw man attacks and ad hominem from Theo (4, Insightful)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 7 years ago | (#18648341)

Reputation and respect are insanely important to most developers and being accused in public of stealing someone's stuff is damaging. Theo is responding with an appropriate amount of emotion if you ask me.

The proper response is to defend yourself against the claim, not attack the person; logical fallacies may be motivated by emotion, but that does not make use of a logical fallacy legitimate or justified. That's the entire point behind ad hominem attacks and other logical fallacies. They're poisoned arguments. Even if you have a legitimate claim, using logical fallacies in front of people who realize what's going, gives them the distinct impression that you don't have any legitimate arguments in your defense at all.

Don't steal code then.. (1)

a16 (783096) | more than 7 years ago | (#18648375)

Reputation and respect are insanely important to most developers and being accused in public of stealing someone's stuff is damaging.
If you don't want to be accused in public of stealing someone's stuff, then don't steal people's stuff. If you want respect, show other developers respect.

He just lost a developer over what was a mistake because some egotistical coder went public with something that out of respect should have been addressed privately first.
He lost a developer because that developer took GPL code and relicensed it without permission under a license that the original authors don't agree with.

Put it this way, if someone took Theo's code and relicensed it under their own license that they happen to prefer, which was against what Theo believes in, do you really think Theo of all people would be the kind of person who'd keep quiet about it?

Re:Straw man attacks and ad hominem from Theo (2, Insightful)

aztektum (170569) | more than 7 years ago | (#18648207)

It's this kind of social ineptitude that hurts F/OSS. I have talked to network administrators, mostly at small businesses, that have a hard time finding the money for MS and others during upgrade cycles, but they still find it less risky than using F/OSS because of things like this that they have read about. Politics dictates business, yes, but after you paid for something you usually have an expectation that the company won't walk away from it on you. Personal politics in F/OSS projects leads to this joke.

Here's some advice for Theo and any other self-important nerds out there: Grow up. No one cares about how smart you are when you act like an emotionally neglected teenager. It's called a therapist, find one. Otherwise you run the risk of becoming the black sheep in a community that may turn it's back on you and your work.

Re:Straw man attacks and ad hominem from Theo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18648287)

"about it. It is hardly out of line given Theo's well-known grandstanding full of rhetoric (hardware drivers for OpenBSD come to mind." Theo's grandstanding as you so ignorantly describe it is no such thing, Theo only takes things public after lots of back in forth in private that is not going anywhere or he is being completely ignored. In this case there was no such private communication there was just a lynching.

BSD licence issue (2, Informative)

Skiron (735617) | more than 7 years ago | (#18648037)

I think the crux here is grabbing GPL code untouched and using it *unannounced*in a BSD licence that allows anybody to distribute (i.e. just use it in binary releases).

As the World Turns (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18648043)

I have read all the threads on the OBSD lists.

Without question, the Linux developer did not need to cc the whole word when first making his inquiry -- he should have contacted them in private. I would also suspect that the BSD developer was just using the Linux code as a drop-in replacement for the time being until he rewrote it with a BSD license. I do not believe the BSD developer was trying to steal anything or take credit for something he did not develop. He made a mistake, for sure, but I do not believe there was any ill will on his part.

However, the biggest story in all of this is just how freaking childish Theo is. I cannot for the life of me figure this guy out. He kills his own cause and make OBSD look like a playground for schoolyard bullies. Imagine how much better he and OBSD would have looked if they had responded to the initial mailing list post with something like: "Hey, we would have appreciated it if you had contacted us privately. In any event, we are quite confident there was no intent to take GPL code in violation of the license. However, we will discuss this, decide the appropriate remedy, and respond to you privately. Thank you for bringing this to our attention."

Matter solved, no drama. But Theo has to open his big fat mouth. Theo: it's called taking the high road, even if you didn't start it. Try it sometime.

Besides, Theo himself cross-posts to other lists all the time to incite flame wars. Just look at last month's FreeBSD-advocacy list -- he cross posted during a thread about the use of his dear Puffy on an anti-blob poster. Pot, meet kettle.

Re:As the World Turns (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18648137)

Theo's passionate, a good quality many people are lacking.

Nor does he care about promoting his operating system. He's not looking to make truckloads of money off it. OpenBSD is developed by people for their own damn use. Theo could care less what you think of him and his OS.

Re:As the World Turns (1)

bobsledbob (315580) | more than 7 years ago | (#18648225)

I would also suspect that the BSD developer was just using the Linux code as a drop-in replacement for the time being until he rewrote it with a BSD license

Once the BSD developer did this, he can't very easily claim to have a "clean" implementation of the copyrighted code. You can't "drop-in" a copyrighted work and expect to duplicate it somehow cleanly under a new license.

It would, of course, take a court to hash out the issue in this case. And of course, the two parties would likely find an agreement before that time. But none-the-less, it's just not possible to temporarily have copyrighted source code in your product and not be "tainted" by it.

Re:As the World Turns (1)

NormalVisual (565491) | more than 7 years ago | (#18648361)

Which is exactly why Buesch and the other folks working on the GPL driver did it the way they did - have one team reverse-engineer the existing Windows driver and write a complete functional spec, and have another unrelated team write a totally new Linux driver to that spec.

Silly (5, Informative)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 7 years ago | (#18648053)

The crux of Theo's complaint seems to be that they "went public" by emailing too many people. When some of the people in on the email pointed out that they were the ones that actually did the hard work of reverse-engineering, Theo said:

And how exactly does seeing this public flogging involve you?

Wow. Just, wow. I often agree with Theo even when he's being a knob because he's usually got a point. But in this case, he's been embarrassed, and he is using whatever he can think of as an incredibly flimsy excuse to attack the people whom the OpenBSD developer plagiarised. What a childish, unproductive attitude. Pulling the code and giving up on the driver instead of taking them up on their offer to relicense the code is cutting off your nose to spite your face, and worse for your users. Just take your ball and go home, Theo.

Re:Silly (1)

kv9 (697238) | more than 7 years ago | (#18648153)

it happend in the past and only good things came out of it (PF anyone?). don't get overly dramatic, we're not on teevee.

undeadly != BSD community (1)

hubertf (124995) | more than 7 years ago | (#18648101)

undeadly == OpenBSD community

  - Hubert

I don't get it... (1)

NevarMore (248971) | more than 7 years ago | (#18648113)

OpenBSD ?= free
GPL ?= free

So who the hell cares and why is this a problem?

Re:I don't get it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18648169)

Mod parent -1, Lazy & Clueless

Here's why (4, Insightful)

nedwidek (98930) | more than 7 years ago | (#18648241)

GPL does not allow someone to pick up the code and turn it into a closed source product.
BSD does. BSD code can be included into a GPL project, but the reverse is not true.

So the GPL product works hard to create a Broadcomm driver. The code gets included into a BSD driver. Broadcomm picks up the BSD driver and includes it into their closed source product. Broadcomm or some other company benefits from the GPL code and does not honor the orignal license.

Re:I don't get it... (1)

fiftyfly (516990) | more than 7 years ago | (#18648245)

Essentially the BSD license is a little more permissive. So releasing code you don't own is something akin to a privilege elevation exploit - you've attained more (legal) rights than you were entitled to.

Re:I don't get it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18648249)

Why people care? It's called "copyright", I'm sure you've heard the word before. You might want to look it up though.

And the reason at least sane people find theo & co despicable is that they essentially piss all over the very foundation of the free software community, which happens to be copyright, by trying to make the fact that the original author publicly shamed the obsd crowd into a bigger issue than the fact that openbsd developers made something that is actually illegal.

Another point is that theo is absolutely retarded to act this way, could you imagine a better way to serve FUD-ammo on a silverplate to the SCO's etc of the world?

"Oh, you're using OBSD? I hear those guys aren't overly concerned about copyright, it would be a pitty if it was running illegal code wouldn't it? We can offer you a license - special deal - $699, only today."

Re:I don't get it... (1)

The_Wilschon (782534) | more than 7 years ago | (#18648305)

The BSD license is more permissive, and the GPL is more free.

By putting the driver code under the BSD license (illegally), the BSD dev opened up the possibility for Broadcom to take the driver code and use, distribute, and sell it under a non-free license. This is precisely what the original author (who does have and should have (nearly) complete authority to say how other people use his work) wanted to avoid, and hence why he put it under the GPL originally. He did not want his code to be used under a non-free license, and the BSD dev essentially handed it to Broadcom to do precisely that with it.

Then, the original dev offered to relicense it so that BSD could use it legally, which was a rather generous move on his part, as it winds up allowing exactly what he didn't want to have happen. This was a peace offering to say "hey, you (BSD guy) are in the wrong, but because I value the peace between us more than the correctness of your action, I'll fix things so that you are not in the wrong anymore.". The BSD dev and Theo both threw a hissy fit at this, which is absurd and a mystery to me.

Summary of the Facts (0, Flamebait)

fuzzyping1 (266783) | more than 7 years ago | (#18648125)

I made the following comments at the OpenBSD Journal [undeadly.org] , but I think they are valid and should be heard amongst the Linux zealotry.

  • Nobody disputes that GPL code was committed to OpenBSD CVS.
  • Nobody disputes that this was in violation of your license.
  • Nobody disputes that the bcm43xx code was a cleanroom implementation that took a long time to complete.
  • Nobody disputes that Michael Buesch was one of the authors of said code.

None of these facts are relevant to the discussion. The sole issue is that Michael Buesch made a public spectacle out of Marcus' mistake. It should have been addressed privately between developers, and then broadcast publicly if discussions were unsuccessful. Regardless of whether you believe Marcus' actions were a mistake or a theft, you must give someone with his track record the benefit of the doubt. By embarrassing him publicly, Michael destroyed Marcus' motivation to work in bcw(4) and benefit the non-GPL user communities.

Even Jeff Garzik, one of the bcm43xx developers, admitted that Michael's actions were wrong [gmane.org] . It's unfortunate that Michael Beusch is more concerned about defending his actions than correcting the injustice.

Re:Summary of the Facts (5, Informative)

mbuesch (1085401) | more than 7 years ago | (#18648221)

None of these facts are relevant to the discussion.
They _are_. Actually, these seem to be the _only_ facts that are relevant to the discussion in the first place.

Even Jeff Garzik, one of the bcm43xx developers
Jeff is not one of the bcm43xx developers. He's the linux net maintainer.

It's unfortunate that Michael Beusch is more concerned about defending his actions than correcting the injustice.
It's interresting that people seem to think _I_ have to apologize, as the OpenBSD developers did the Bad Things in the first place. There's a simple rule: Don't violate copyrights and don't get blamed for it. It's so simple.

Re:Summary of the Facts (1)

bobsledbob (315580) | more than 7 years ago | (#18648363)

I think it's your decision to make how you reply to the situation. I respect your decision to "go public" with the information, and I do not defend the "backlash" that you're getting from doing so.

However, I think you didn't play your cards in the right order. Because you've decided to play your ace out front, you're getting clobbered in the PR department.

It's like the people who find vulnerabilities in proprietary software. The respectable thing for them to do is disclose the problem to the software company, privately first. If the company decides not to address the problem, then you go public. It's the "politically correct" (for lack of a better term) way to handle the situation.

Same thing here. You could have written the maintainer of the code directly and sought a resolution off the public record. If the maintainer didn't come to an appropriate agreement (as decided by you and the other copyright holders), then you would be forced to go public with the information (or alternatively seek legal action).

You're right, of course. The BSD folks made a mistake including your code. They should deal with the consequences of that mistake and make amends for it. However, you could have played it a bit cooler too and the whole issue wouldn't have gotten so out of hand.

The way you've handled it makes it look like you've got an ax to grind or some political statement to make.

Re:Summary of the Facts (4, Interesting)

moikka (1085403) | more than 7 years ago | (#18648339)

It turned a spectacle only after Theo responded the way he did. The correct response would have been "Oops, you are right, there seems to be a problem. We'll sort it out". With this response there wouldn't have been any spectacle and everybody would have been fine afterwards. Michael could have made first contact by email but equally well what he did was within reason. If Michael would have started be creating an thread on /. that would have been out of line, but not this. After all Marcus did copy code into his own project stripping out the original copyright notice and distributed the result in violation of the copyright Is this not the real beef in here? >>> Nobody disputes that GPL code was committed to OpenBSD CVS. Theo tried to dispute this many times by trying to ridicule Michaels point by making strawmen about whitespaces and stuff. It is just that Theo was not succesful when he tried to dispute this.

Re:Summary of the Facts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18648419)

None of these facts are relevant to the discussion.

Are you serious? Those facts ARE the discussion. I'm starting to wonder about Theo's ethics here -

Michael Buesch: Hey guys, you copied some of my stuff without permission, how about we talk about it and work this out?
Theo: It was a mistake, what's your problem? Why did you have to go and tell EVERYONE about it?
Michael Buesch: Well, my stuff was taken more than once, and committed over a period of time, how is that a mista-
Theo: You're inhuman!!!!
Michael Buesch: Er, what?

I can see how both parties can be a little pissed, but I'm fricken amazed at how Theo was able to turn it all around and make Michael look like the bad guy. That's some wicked jedi marketing spin right there.

This is the worst possible offense in open source (5, Insightful)

defile (1059) | more than 7 years ago | (#18648131)

Copying code without permission is the worst possible offense in open source land. His righteous indignation is absolutely justified. The appropriate response is "Our deepest and most sincere apologies. The code has been removed. Thank you for deciding not to seek any further retribution."

Arguing over not being nice about calling out this offense is cowardly and sociopathic. e.g. playing politics.

Re:This is the worst possible offense in open sour (0)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 7 years ago | (#18648205)

But he did not copy the code. Rather it was just similiar. Hmmm this kind of reminds me of a certain anti linux company in Utah doing bogus lawsuits agaisnt IBM

Re:This is the worst possible offense in open sour (1)

defile (1059) | more than 7 years ago | (#18648301)

But he did not copy the code. Rather it was just similiar.

Say what?

Where is that determined?

Re:This is the worst possible offense in open sour (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18648333)

Did you actually read the correspondence and look at the code?

Retard.

The war against BSD continues (2, Informative)

Henry V .009 (518000) | more than 7 years ago | (#18648139)

This isn't a "copy and paste" issue. Michael Buesch comes across as a bit of an asshole from all this. This isn't an issue of his code being copied exactly (a straight copyright violation), instead it's an issue of a certain amount of code in an as yet non-working driver being too derivative of a copyrighted product. I'm committing more copyright violation by pasting this mailing list reply from the accused on Slashdot than what has been alleged.

Picon Favicon
From: Marcus Glocker
Subject: Re: OpenBSD bcw: Possible GPL license violation issues
Newsgroups: gmane.linux.kernel.wireless.general, gmane.linux.drivers.bcm54xx.devel
Date: 2007-04-05 05:41:07 GMT (2 days, 12 hours and 27 minutes ago)

On Wed, Apr 04, 2007 at 10:08:13PM +0200, Michael Buesch wrote:

> I, Michael Buesch, am one of the maintainers of the GPL'd Linux
> wireless LAN driver for the Broadcom chip (bcm43xx).
> The Copyright holders of bcm43xx (which includes me) want to talk
> to you, OpenBSD bcw developers, about possible GPL license and therefore
> Copyright violations in your bcw driver.
>
> We believe that you might have directly copied code
> out of bcm43xx (licensed under GPL v2), without our explicit permission,
> into bcw (licensed under BSD license).
> There are implementation details in bcm43xx that appear exactly
> the same in bcw. These implementation details clearly don't come
> from the open specifications at bcm-specs.sipsolutions.net
> or bcm-v4.sipsolutions.net.
>
> We have always made and still make a great effort to keep our code clean
> of any Copyright issues (cleanroom design). Please make sure you also do.
>
> A few examples follow of what we think might be GPL violations.
> This list is far from being complete.

Michael,

I am aware that right now a lot of lines in bcw are written in a way with a too close eye to your code. That's out of question, and I have already informed Theo about that fact before you got in touch with us.

I wanted to make some quick progress (maybe too quick), and rewrite the functions in question after seeing some first success, e.g. receivment of first frames, which isn't the case right now. But still, the specs for some functions are so strict, writing tons of registers in a strict order, some parts will still look similar.

The last thing I want is to start a license war with you guys, and also I don't want to harm OpenBSD further with this issue. And of course we want to solve that license issue ASAP.

So, I am suggestion three options:
  1. You give me some time and I try to rewrite the code in question. We keep in touch, and maybe we can split up both parties in freedom afterwards.
  2. Same as option one, but if my time resources keep shrinking like they do right now, spending weekends in the office and I can't fix up the driver soon, I'll drop the driver.
  3. We don't come to a point and I'll plain drop the driver directly, very soon.
Waiting for your reaction.

Regards,
Marcus

--
Marcus Glocker, marcus@..., mglocker@...

Re:The war against BSD continues (5, Insightful)

mbuesch (1085401) | more than 7 years ago | (#18648267)

This isn't an issue of his code being copied exactly (a straight copyright violation), instead it's an issue of a certain amount of code in an as yet non-working driver being too derivative of a copyrighted product.
Did you actually try to compare both projects? You'll be surprised how much copied code you will find.

Re:The war against BSD continues (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18648297)

Rubbish! The BSD lot accepted known GPL code and hoped no one would notice. The person lifted the code from the most public GPL project there is, and tried passing it off as their own. Now how many other times have BSD people done this?

Theo carried on like a silly little child that dropped their favorite teddybear, rather that saying "whoops, how can we resolve this?".

It's a BSD mailing list in question, hardly anyone uses OpenBSD, and a damn sight fewer bother with their mailing lists. Get real here, public my fat hairy arse!

Re:The war against BSD continues (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18648315)

Did you read the thread? Did you even read the email you link to? You conveniently omit that if there is one person who "comes across as a bit of an asshole", it isn't Michael (hint, his name starts with a T). It was a mistake to do this public (although, I can understand it, I do not think he realized that this would be picked up by newssites, etc. Although arguably, that could have been avoided if Theo had not been so flaming, Marcus response was quite reasonable and the issue would have been quickly solved).

Thank god for ndiswrapper (2, Informative)

t35t0r (751958) | more than 7 years ago | (#18648147)

I've been using ndiswrapper with my BCM4306 802.11b/g device since before bcm43xx was useable on linux. Getting the bcm43xx driver to work involves firmware cutting and some other low level tricks I'd rather not do. I've never used a BSD and would never touch Theo's distro with a 99ft pole but I recommend using ndiswrapper for users who would like to use BSD and have a BCM wireless device.

Re:Thank god for ndiswrapper (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18648273)

bcm43xx is quite usable in modern kernels, it's come a long way from the first versions and has near windows driver speeds under good conditions.

I'd give it a try again. :)

Re:Thank god for ndiswrapper (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18648387)

*puke*

Whole Point (1)

Cytlid (95255) | more than 7 years ago | (#18648187)

I guess the whole point of this (without RTFA or even the posts, in fact just the /. comments) is that developers are still only human?

So, BSD *derived* their driver from GPL code? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18648239)

Because that's what the driver developer intended - take the GPL driver, and modify it over time to hide it's origins. That might not be what the stated intent was, but that's the actual effect. That's copyright infringement because the final driver would be a derivative work of the original GPL code.

Of course, IANAL, so take that for what it's worth.

But there's a reason why there are such things as "cleanroom" implementations. This certainly wasn't going to be one of those.

But given Theo's response, I now wonder how much of that goes on in the BSD world. Seems as if Buesch cut pretty close to the bone there. "Methinks he doth protest too much" and all that implies seems to apply to Theo...

hey open source faggots! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18648303)

still sucking them dicks?

I'm glad I don't work on OpenBSD (5, Insightful)

wrook (134116) | more than 7 years ago | (#18648307)

Wah... What the hell? The author of some code contacts the OpenBSD to communicate that copyright was infringed upon. The OpenBSD guys explode in a series of "zealot" name calling. I guess I can see some sense in privately contacting the OpenBSD dev. But on the other hand, it's in the OpenBSD development tree. Probably it's a good idea to tell people that it shouldn't be there.

Reading the initial email, I can't find any hint of malice. Just expressing the facts and offering to provide a license for the code. If this mailing list blows up because of something so unbelievably trivial, it doesn't seem like a fun place to hang out in. It's just weird.

But something else bothers me about the response too. It seems like the people there are *upset* that the original person informed them of the copyright infringement. I mean, nobody denied it. Everyone seems to agree there was an infringement. It just seems that some of the OpenBSD people think that the Linux people are assholes for choosing to license their code under the GPL... And apparently it's even worse to ask people not to infringe on that license.

That's just bizarre... It kind of makes you wonder who the zealots are... Personally, I'm kind of neutral on the subject. I like the GPL in some instances, I like other licenses in other instances. But, I just can't quite wrap my head around BSD guys (of all people) taking such a strange stance...

Jesus Loves Theo (1)

Hohlraum (135212) | more than 7 years ago | (#18648329)

Everyone else thinks he's an asshole. I'M KIDDING! lol.

Broadcom sucks, wireless sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18648409)

I only use quality, reliable, stable and durable hardware (Which by definition does not include wireless hardware or Broadcom products). So why should I care? Why does anyone care?
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