[sane-devel] Please give me some help to solve the license issues in using sane

Daniel Glöckner daniel-gl at gmx.net
Thu Jun 5 13:55:20 UTC 2008


On  5 Jun 08 08:28, Wang Mengqiang wrote:
> 1) In the development, we plan to use several special modules  which do not contain any open source code from sane or other party, because they contain some tecnology that we do not want to open.

May I ask what functionality is contained in these modules?

It may sound naive, but usually a scanner driver just needs to write some 
registers and accept the incoming image data.
I don't see what needs to be hidden in that process.

If it is the meaning of the registers you want to hide, I think it is
acceptable if you obfuscate the sourcecode that deals with these registers.
Just don't use descriptive names.

Maybe it is possible to make your driver compile with a reduced set of
functionality that doesn't need those closed source modules.
It will have more acceptance in the community than a driver that needs
closed source parts.

If you want to implement image processing algorithms (dust removal,
ICC profiles, descreening), don't. This should be done in frontends.

Last year Canon released Linux drivers for the MP scanners that require a
closed source module. We have never heard of anyone successfully using this
driver. On the other hand there is the open source pixma driver that is
actively developed to handle the same scanners.

What I want to say is that if there was anything essential that Canon needed
to hide in those closed source modules, it has been exposed by that little
reverse engineering done by the pixma driver developers. And still nobody
knows what secrets have been exposed.

While it is nice to talk to developers that want to respect the GPL in their
commercial products, it would be better if we can avoid having to find a
compromise by convincing those that object an open source approach.


More information about the sane-devel mailing list