proprietary BIOS src leagality? (was: RE: [OpenBIOS] award bios...)

Brian Hurt brian.hurt at
Mon Aug 27 13:56:29 CEST 2001

On Mon, 27 Aug 2001, Jason Gurtz wrote:

> > I am somewhat concerned about the potiential licensing and
> > intellectual property rights problems distributing a copy
> > of the proprietary BIOS on the open-bios mailing list, or
> > even to a large segment of it's developers, would entail.
> As long as none of the proprietary code is used in Open BIOS, what
> whould be the harm?

Are you willing to pay the lawyer bills to prove this?  Also, I'm not sure
what confidentiality agreements/non-disclosure agreements come with this,
not knowing where it's comming from.  I may be being excessive paranoid, I
don't know.  But remember that the BIOS companies are charging multiple
dollars per machine for its BIOS, and tens or hundreds of thousands of
dollars to modify the BIOS for any special reason.  I don't think they
would be any less vigilant (let's be nice) in protecting their income
stream, than say Microsoft.  As a Linux Kernel developer, would you want
to be reading the source to Windows CE, even despite the fact that they've
"released" it publically?


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