Re: GPL Violation?

From: linux-os (Dick Johnson)
Date: Thu Aug 17 2006 - 08:00:27 EST

On Thu, 17 Aug 2006, Ben B wrote:

> Arjan van de Ven <arjan@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> uttered the following thing:
>> On Wed, 2006-08-16 at 22:48 -0700, Anonymous User wrote:
>>> I believe that new kernel modules will be written to support I/O
>>> peripherals and perhaps other things. I don't know the details right
>>> now. What I am trying to do is get an idea of what requirements there
>>> are to make the source code available under the GPL.
>> you should talk to a lawyer, not LKML.
> Minor gripe here...
> Whilst it's true that a lawyer should get involved with these things, I
> think it's also perfectly reasonable for someone to ask for input from
> LKML, /. or other interesting places.
> OP may already be planning to speak to a lawyer, and just wants to take
> tidbits of info/experiences/etc from others to help the lawyer's
> research.
> BB

"Talk to a lawyer..." Good copout. I have talked to lawyers
about Linux, GPL, etc. "Don't touch that stuff with a 10-foot
pole," is the response. A couple years ago, I was all set to
make some very smart WiFi routers using Linux in a closely-held
company that I had invested in. We built prototypes and were
performing measurements for FCC approval. After buying a $15k
spectrum analyzer, we needed more money to advertise and start
production. A quick trip to a lawyer queered the deal. Undaunted,
we went to another lawyer with another investor. We couldn't get
any funding and had to give it up. Then Linksys got into that
area and you know the rest. We had a two-year head start.
Fortunately we didn't give up the "day jobs".

It's all about managing risk. Lawyers want to minimize risk,
accountants want to eliminate risk, engineers want to analyze
risk, and entrepreneurs want to manage risk. Software engineers
have a better "handle" on the risk analysis than the lawyers.
Let them be heard.

Dick Johnson
Penguin : Linux version on an i686 machine (5592.62 BogoMips).
New book:

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