[sane-devel] Epson & HP
paddy-hack at member.fsf.org
Sun Apr 26 05:37:38 BST 2020
Brian Potkin writes:
> On Wed, 22 Apr 2020 at 16:34, Ralph Little <skelband at gmail.com> wrote:
>> HP and Epson provide pretty decent Linux support for many of their
>> machines, and while binary only drivers, that's pretty sweet.
> AFAIK, you are correct about Epson scanner drivers; they are binary-only.
Eh, sorry but that's incorrect. Source code is available from
for three kinds of "drivers", two of which I've worked on for a combined
total of 15 years (until 2015). I just pulled the tarballs and checked
to make sure things haven't changed in the meantime.
For iscan-2.30.4, which includes the epkowa backend, the README states
This software is primarily covered by the terms of the GNU General
Public License (version 2 or later) with exceptions that allow for
the use of several non-free plugins.
The graphical user interface, iscan, carries an exception to allow
linking with the non-free 'esmod' library. Copies of that library
are included in the 'non-free/' directory and covered by the terms
of the EPSON END USER SOFTWARE LICENSE.
The device driver (backend) carries a similar exception to provide
for the use of plugins. Such plugins are packaged and distributed
independently from this software and are only required for certain
models and/or hardware options.
For imagescan-3.62.0, aka utsushi-0.62.0, which includes the utsushi
backend, the README says
This software is distributed under the terms of the GNU General
Public License, version 3 or at your option any later version.
A copy of this license can be found in the 'COPYING' file.
The epsonscan2 software, which I only just found out about(!), has the
same blurb in its README. Not sure if it includes a SANE backend.
What is true about binary-only is that some models and/or some of a
model's functionality needs a non-free plugin. This is true for the
network support (but epson2 covers that quite well too, I believe) and
for those devices that need an interpreter. The epkowa.desc files does
a pretty good job of identifying those.
# Sorry for the long follow-up, but while working on the first two, I
# actually lobbied a fair bit for keeping as much as possible of these
# drivers Free Software. As a result, the epkowa backend now works
# without the plugins and the utsushi backend is GPL-3.0-or-later
# *without* exceptions. All interfacing with non-free code is done at
# what the FSF calls "arm's length", via IPC/RPC.
Hope this helps,
Olaf Meeuwissen, LPIC-2 FSF Associate Member since 2004-01-27
GnuPG key: F84A2DD9/B3C0 2F47 EA19 64F4 9F13 F43E B8A4 A88A F84A 2DD9
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