The Broadcom Driver Dispute

I was reading the fiasco that erupted out of the recent Broadcom driver dispute and couldn't help but shake my head in disbelief.

It was discovered that source code originating from the bcm43xx driver (licensed under the GPL) had been copied verbatim and committed into OpenBSD's own bcw driver.

Michael Buesch, the lead developer of the bcm43xx project, sent a message regarding the GPL license violation in which he outlined some examples and even expressed some interest in cooperating with OpenBSD so that their own driver would be free of the before mentioned violations.

However, things didn't go as smoothly as he had hoped. Theo De Raadt decided to focus on the fact that the issue was brought up on a public mailing list rather than the actual issues at hand.

Even though Marcus Glocker admitted that there were issues with his code and stated that Theo De Raadt already knew about the them, Theo continually accused Michael and other developers of calling Marcus a thief and intentionally ganging up on him.

Theo maintained that the multiple commits containing bcm43xx code was a simple mistake which was apparently perfectly fine in his eyes since their bcw driver didn't have "working code" yet.

Unfortunately, Marcus decided to completely delete his driver instead of working with the bcm43xx project so he didn't have to deal with license issues.

"After been attacked by Michael Buesch because we initially were using some of their routines in the bcw driver, I decided to stop working on it. To avoid any further license chit chat I plain drop the driver."

They tried to make it look like this whole thing is the bcm43xx project's fault when it is not. The fact is that if the OpenBSD guys had just bothered to get in contact with the bcm43xx's developers in regards to relicensing the code before they started committing it, this whole thing could have been avoided.


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