Licensing options for firmware

scott at scott at
Tue Apr 5 02:18:22 UTC 2005

Heck, I've seen some code in Linux that didn't NEED to be obfuscated to
accomplish that!  =]

I think that kind of violates the spirit of the licensing, at any rate.
Doesn't provide much value to the community.  I think I'll just go with a
non-commercial license.  I'm still hoping to find one 'off-the-shelf',
though.  Don't want to craft my own, or hire a lawyer to do it.


-----Original Message-----
From: David Webber (XML) [mailto:david at]
Sent: Monday, April 04, 2005 6:55 PM
To: Matthew Garrett; license-discuss at
Subject: Re: Licensing options for firmware

One thing I've done in a similar situation - is obfuscate the
source code first.

You should be able to find a download link for my old obfuscator
tool - ShroudIt!

I guess there's nothing in an open source license that says that
people actually have to be able to read your code?!?

Anyway - I had a very similar pickle - we want to sell
a code base to Japanese hardware companies - so they
could link it into their firmware - but we could not provide them
with link objects - because their processor environments all

Well the obfuscated code worked very nicely.  Several
companies bought it from us - and they could work with
all the API calls and even extend them - because those
function names were in plain text - but they could not
modify the underlying code base.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Matthew Garrett" <mjg59 at>
To: <license-discuss at>
Sent: Monday, April 04, 2005 8:35 PM
Subject: Re: Licensing options for firmware

> On Mon, 2005-04-04 at 11:50 -0700, Scott Miller wrote:
> > I realize that this probably means it won't qualify as true Open Source.
> > But I'm in this to benefit the community, not a bunch of Japanese
> > corporations.  And I'm sinking thousands of dollars of my own money into
> > developing and manufacturing the hardware.  I face a lot more risk
> > some protection for my code, and that risk might make it more difficult
> > secure funding for the manufacturing.
> It's possible to release your code under a license that is advantageous
> to the open source community without being open source. However, there's
> no way you can release code under an open source license without it
> being possible for your competitors to use it in ways that may harm
> you.
> If you want the former without the latter, then you'll have to accept
> that your code isn't open source - however, if that's what you want then
> that's what you should do. Open source isn't about forcing people to
> release code under open source licenses, and if you feel that your
> concerns are legitimate then you should pay attention to them.
> --
> Matthew Garrett | mjg59 at

More information about the License-discuss mailing list