Ralink licensing

Live forum: http://rt2x00.serialmonkey.com/viewtopic.php?t=5339

mgessner

06-05-2009 13:34:09

I'm confused about how all the licensing works with Ralink.

It seems the rt2x00 project (IvD at least) has access to documentation and source that is being used to write the drivers being released this way.

How is this being done without violating the license that Ralink offered us, which is that we can use the code but can't release it. If it's being linked into a GPL kernel and using GPL features (ala USB), how is this possible?

Also, why is it that Ralink is keeping some of the source to itself but apparently giving it freely to the project to incorporate into the kernel?

This all seems convoluted.

Thanks,

-mg

IvD

06-05-2009 14:21:56

It seems the rt2x00 project (IvD at least) has access to documentation and source that is being used to write the drivers being released this way.[/quote16sk8urf]

Well I got access to the chipset specsheets for all Ralink chipsets. These sheets contain confidential information but I can use the information in it to build the rt2x00 drivers. Usually this document is reference material only, my main source of information are the drivers as released by Ralink. These sheets have been provided by Ralink to all project members with the request not to distribute to outside of the project.

As for the sourcecode of those drivers, just go to the ralink website[/url16sk8urf] and browse to [url=http://www.ralinktech.com/ralink/Home/Support/Linux.html16sk8urf]"Support->Linux"[/url16sk8urf], there you can find all the GPL code and closed source firmware files. There are no license problems for a GPL driver to load closed source firmware since that isn't "linking" but rather "copying random bytes from filesystem to hardware"

[quote="mgessner"16sk8urf]
How is this being done without violating the license that Ralink offered us, which is that we can use the code but can't release it.

That is [b16sk8urf]not[/b16sk8urf] the Ralink license. You forget the so-called legacy drivers as previously released by this project. Those were in fact the Ralink drivers but maintained and released by this project. The rt2x00 drivers are the complete rewrite of those drivers.

[quote="mgessner"16sk8urf]
If it's being linked into a GPL kernel and using GPL features (ala USB), how is this possible?
[/quote16sk8urf][/quote16sk8urf]

Linking is not the issue here. We aren't linking non-GPL binary blobs to the kernel.