Re: Bug in 1.2.13 firewall?

Dennis (
Sun, 16 Jun 1996 21:28:55 -0400

> (dennis)
>> The idea that a commercial vendor would invest corporate resources
>> in a value-added software driver and give away source so that their
>> competitors could use it is simply not practical.
>The key phrase here is "so that their competitors could use it". The
>license need not allow that. And in the western world, licenses are

very difficult to prove...particularly is a low volume business like LINUX.
The issue is that the courts dont understand software, and unless the
code is identical it can cost you more than its worth to prove anything.
To prove the theft of an intellectual concept or technique is very difficult.

>Sure, there are rascals. But rascals can buy that chip from Hitachi
>right now and clone the ET/5025. doesnt make the chip we use, so that might be difficult :-)
Sure, you can clone our board, but there arent many companies that
buy enough units to justify that. We'd just change our key or our boards
to make the software not work. With a source dist you cant do that.

>> ...
>> Another ramification of the "source" distribution is that it becomes
>> impossible to support software that has been ported by a user. We
>> are commited to support the product, but if all of our users are
>> running different versions of our software (even if its just
>> recompiled) it damages the entire process.
>That problem, too, can be solved. For example, insmod could provide
>the module with an md5 or fletcher checksum of the module's object
>code (which most modules would ignore). Yours could report it:
>.. kernel: et5025.o Loadable Module v2.2beta1 md5 47134897153825548592347680515
>IMHO it would be perfectly reasonable to support only modules whose
>md5 checksum matches one released by you. I feel certain that most
>linux users would agree.

They would agree, but its very difficult to say to a customer "screw you,
you changed the module and your on your own Pal". And what about
the bananas that call and complain that the module wont compile
because some include file changed and blame us for having a faulty
distribution. Believe me, we've been there. Its a nightmare. The bottom
line is that no customer ever successfully fixed anything with our source
distribution...we always ended up doing it for them.

Emerging Technologies, Inc.

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