[sane-devel] SANE protocol over USB as new USB scannerdevice class?

m. allan noah kitno455 at gmail.com
Mon Dec 29 00:40:39 UTC 2008

2008/12/28 David Poole <dpoole at marvell.com>:
>> Sounds like you would be the kind of manufacturer to publish protocol
>> specs, do you plan to do that, or have you done so?
> Me, personally, I'd love to be able to do that.  I've talked with my
> managers and no go.  As a previous poster mentioned, our business types
> consider our own protocol a "strategic advantage".
> I've been given permission to help SANE but I must have anything I do
> reviewed by management first.

Are you managers aware that your protocol was already reverse engineered?


I have had this same discussion with three different OEM's lately, and
got three completely different responses: The first gave me full
protocol specs and access to hardware without any legal formalities at
all. The second made me sign an NDA, but lets me talk to engineers,
and lets me give away the code. The third gives me nothing.

The outcome for all three was the same. I wrote a sane backend for
each, one was just a little harder because I had to reverse engineer
the thing. There is, however, one crucial difference: when people ask
me what brand of scanner to buy, I don't hesitate to suggest the two
companies that were helpful, primarily because the backend performs
better due to full specs, but also as a payback to them for sticking
their collective necks out.

Your situation with HP may cloud the IP waters here, but I would
suggest to your managers that they are merely reducing the value of
their advantage by locking it away.

"The truth is an offense, but not a sin"

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