Redhat, OLPC and Marvell

Doing some other reading I stumbled over this thread (letter to OLPC) over at bsd-misc. First OLPC is short for One Laptop Per Child, and it is an initiate to produce US $100 Laptops which can be distributed to children in the 3rd world - read more here.

Now the interesting part is that Redhat signed a NDA with Mavell to be able to write the wireless driver for these laptops, which means that this driver will probably be a binary only driver. And as far as I know this is against GPL, and the spirit of OpenSource - read more here for how RedHat thinks about other companies who have done something which is not even as bad

Now the intersting part, when one follows the thread on bsd-misc are comments like:
Red Hat (and a number of other linux distros) are morally bankrupt. By that I mean the sit under the linux banner touting the GPL, and yet this is not how they act. They act in a way that helps to ensure that
GPL'ed software can not continue to be written.

And it goes on.

For some odd reason no one picked up one this, normally one would expect ./ to be filled with outraged people, who would demand that the driver code would be released, or that RedHat should stop working with them, or RedHat should close.... but no, silence.....

Me personally could probably not care much, I think it's a shame that the OLPC choose a chipset which would require an NDA (and therefor a close source driver), but on the other hand it is a better thing if it will be possible to distribute 10 million of these laptops in the 3rd world

On the other hand, one can wonder why people is not yelling/complaing/ranting about this, as there are people out there who believe that close source (also know as proprietary software) is something which should be banned, or said in another way that it is something the guy below invented.


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