[linux-audio-user] Interesting Tidbit: The Midas XL8 uses Linux

Lee Revell rlrevell at joe-job.com
Fri Jun 9 22:33:14 EDT 2006

On Fri, 2006-06-09 at 22:12 -0400, M P Smoak wrote:
> So a company that wanted to have a proprietary connection to linux
> could write an open source blob and a closed connection to the blob
> for their closed hardware/software?  ie linux remains useable for
> companies.

Not if the closed part was specifically developed to run on Linux.  The
key is whether it's a "derived work" as far as copyright law is
concerned or not.

If there's IP in your hardware than you absolutely cannot risk
disclosing (maybe because you went for trade secret protection rather
than patenting it) you can put the secret part of the driver in
userspace and keep it closed.

> If not, I'm having a hard time seeing this as a positive situation. 
> More like alsa shooting themselves in the foot. 
> I'm not a programmer or audio pro;  just a linux user who advocates
> open source and avenues of co-existence with businesses. 

Read LKML sometime, there are tons of large companies releasing open
source drivers for their hardware - Intel, AMD, IBM, Cisco, Via,
Toshiba, Fujitsu, Veritas, Novell, SGI, plus zillions of smaller
companies like Pathscale, Emulex, Mellanox.  For audio there's M-Audio,
RME, AudioScience, EchoAudio, Digigram, etc.  I could go on and on -
these are just the ones I know off the top of my head.

Keep in mind that if you patent your hardware innovations, you're free
to release an open source driver and no one can rip you off - for
example Creative did this with the emu10k1.

The ones shooting themselves in the foot are the small minority that
refuse to release open source drivers.


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