[sane-devel] FW: SANE back-end development

Henning Meier-Geinitz henning@meier-geinitz.de
Fri, 12 Dec 2003 17:47:02 +0100


in addition to what the others wrote:

On Thu, Dec 11, 2003 at 06:47:10PM -0800, David Chamberlin wrote:
> Does anyone know if it  is  possible to develop a binary distribution of a
> sane back-end that uses a proprietary protocols

The SANE standard is public domain so you can use any license you
like. Trouble starts when you want to copy code from other backends or
link to part of the SANE distribution.

> and to distribute this back-end with sane-backends? 

Just for clearification: Our sane-backends distribution will never
contain binary-only backends. At least as long as I'm part of the
project :-)

If the manufacturer wants to provide their own SANE distribution, the
SANE license applies. The idea of the license is that the backends are
GPL but also binary-only frontends can link to them. 

However, at least in my opinion the license isn't that clear so you
may be even allowed to include parts of SANE in your proprietary
backend (e.g. sanei_usb). Keep in mind that the code you copied from
SANE is itsself GPLed so you will have to provide the source code (or
a written offer yadda yadda) for the code that comes from SANE.

If you really want to be safe, write your own backend without using
anything but sane.h and the SANE standard.

> Can manufacturers that make only binary back-ends  advertise  "Supported by
> Sane" or "Runs on Linux"?

Even "works with SANE" isn't really true. "SANE-compatible backend
which runs on operating system xyz and platform foo is provided" is ok
(if it's really conforming the SANE standard).

If you write "Runs on Linux" I bet I can find lots of platforms on
which it doesn't run. Or you have to provide a binary for every
platform Linux supports.

In short: binary-only drivers are evil and should be avoided.