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Hardware Hacking Linux Business

Bluetooth SIG Attacks Linux Bluetooth List 127

Karma Sucks writes "As reported in the latest free edition of LWN the Bluetooth Qualification Administrator has demanded that the Linux BlueZ project take down the highly-useful Bluetooth hardware compatibility list for Linux with the intimation that 'As neither of these products have been qualified using Linux it is illegal to make them available for public use'. This was apparently done at the request of a registered member of the Bluetooth SIG. Anyone know who this member was?"
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Bluetooth SIG Attacks Linux Bluetooth List

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  • Illegal...? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 26, 2005 @11:39AM (#14339646)
    In what way exactly is it illegal to post a list of information like this, even with all the dumb laws the USA is passing these days...?
  • So what? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Cinquero ( 174242 ) on Monday December 26, 2005 @11:42AM (#14339657)
    I don't care. If there is no open-source driver for Linux, I simply won't buy the product. If they can live with that, I can do so too.
  • by RedLaggedTeut ( 216304 ) on Monday December 26, 2005 @11:54AM (#14339697) Homepage Journal
    Bluetooth products have to pass a test-suite. Not all of the software might have been tested or be able to pass the test.

    I believe they still should be able to publish the list, they just should must avoid somehow to carry the "Bluetooth"-tag. Maybe Linux should just make up a fancy new protocol name like "Redbeard" or so for the protocol :-P
  • License Agreement? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by asdfghjklqwertyuiop ( 649296 ) on Monday December 26, 2005 @11:54AM (#14339700)
    The rest of the quote from LWN states:

    Please note that the use and distribution of non-qualified products is a violation of the Bluetooth License Agreement.

    What I'm curious about is what is this license agreement and did the guy running this list agree to it?

  • Fair Use (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 26, 2005 @12:16PM (#14339750)
    Since when do you have to agree to a license to provide a commentary? I believe this to be fair use. Since when did we agree to waive our free speech rights?
  • by LDoggg_ ( 659725 ) on Monday December 26, 2005 @12:46PM (#14339846) Homepage
    It still doesn't make sense though. You refered to Bluetooth in your post and I'm guessing you didn't ask Bluetooth for permission to do that.

    He isn't trying to sell his post.
  • by Danse ( 1026 ) on Monday December 26, 2005 @01:03PM (#14339892)

    Bluetooth is a propietary technology; standardisation is being worked upon (IEEE 801.15). There are several patents involved on the technology, therefore companies that wish to use it sign a licensing agreement. I can't get a hand on the exact terms, though I read that it's royalty free.

    AFAIK, you don't need a license to talk about something on your website, even if it's patented or trademarked or what have you. I think the complaint was a bunch of hand-waving threats that unfortunately had the intended effect without having any legal weight behind it.

  • The issue (Score:2, Insightful)

    by gladmac ( 729908 ) on Monday December 26, 2005 @01:14PM (#14339934) Homepage

    I think the issue is this. There is a rigorous framework in place for how to qualify your devices, and the Bluetooth interest group is making a lot money conducting that qualification. In fact, it might be their main source of income. It's not necessarily a bad thing either if the testing is good and helpful, and the price for it is fair (I assume it's not, but anyway).

    Having third party compatibility lists cropping up undermines the power the group has to force hardware vendors to pay for qualification.

    Also, I guess the "illegal" part is bogus as far as the site owner goes. It is probably true that the makers of Bluetooth devices have a license agreement with the group that prohibits them from marketing their device as compatible with a specific environment without having gone through the qualification. The group might want to imply that it is illegal for those companies to be on that list, and therefore illegal to publish it.

    It might also be that the site owner through involvement with BlueZ actually has signed an agreement to follow guidelines of the group, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

  • We're a mafia? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mnmn ( 145599 ) on Monday December 26, 2005 @02:17PM (#14340249) Homepage
    "Anyone know who this member was?"

    What? Now we're a mafia?

    Should someone do anything against us OSS/slashdot crowd, do we find the person's name and attack humiliate him/her? Think of the SCO guy. His name is associated with evil throughout the IT world now, thanks to sites like slashdot. He might deserve it, but most people dont follow up and check whether he's actually as wrong as we're made to think (slashdot articles have been wrong/exaggerating on more than one occasion).

    A recent artice accused Rogers execs of having links to terrorists. This is an extremely baseless accusation based on phone calls to somewhere in the middle east. But this shows we're turning from being a bazaar to a bit like a mafia. (Open your sources.... or else). Do article moderators and editors know how much personal damage can they cause?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 26, 2005 @05:12PM (#14341147)
    Actually, there is a generic term: "Bluetooth Wireless Technology". This is why, for example, the JSR82 expert group ended up with the legally-correct mouthful of Java APIs for Bluetooth Wireless Technology (JABWT) instead of just Bluetooth for Java.

    You're probably right that it's a trademark violation, but the bigger issue is that the maintainer of BlueZ is a member of the Bluetooth SIG, or he wouldn't have the right to use the intellectual property (technical specifications etc.) developed and owned by the Bluetooth SIG in his products. And to remain a member of the Bluetooth SIG you must agree among other things to use the brand carefully. It seems that for whatever reason the SIG determined that the page in question did not.

    Getting a lawyer involved to defend a particular page of HTML is a poor suggestion. Both BlueZ and the Blueooth SIG and all of the other members don't need to waste money on a legal battle like this. They just to agree on what is best for Bluetooth technology and move forward with that.

  • Re:The issue (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fm6 ( 162816 ) on Tuesday December 27, 2005 @12:46AM (#14342919) Homepage Journal
    He might be a lawyer, and he might not. Who cares?
    Somebody who takes his advice and gets in trouble because of it. Sure, lawyers are fallible — but they still know a lot of shit.

    You're on some kind "personal responsibility" bandwagon that I'm not going to try to decipher, because it's not relevant to the topic at hand. Which is: You've gotten a cease and desist letter, what should you do? Whatever you do, it better not be based on the opinion of somebody who knows just enough law to get you in trouble.

Sigmund Freud is alleged to have said that in the last analysis the entire field of psychology may reduce to biological electrochemistry.