November 4, 2004
OpenBSD activism works; but more OSS help needed
The Age has a story up about how the OpenBSD community has been contacting wireless chipset vendors to license their firmware binaries under terms that would allow for free redistribution. This is important, because even with existing GPL and BSD licensed drivers for these chipsets, the drivers don't function without first loading onerously licensed firmware binaries which can only be acquired from the vendor, not shipped by an OSS provider. This means that currently, these wireless NIC's don't work out of the box on OSS install or boot media. In just the first 4 days, hundreds of users wrote and called vendors, and already 2 vendors freed their firmware, and several others are in discussions with Theo de Raadt about taking similar steps.