[driverloader] Licensing regression between versions 2.28 and 2.29

Eric Herget eherget at bellsouth.net
Sat Nov 12 10:46:57 EST 2005

People that have some misguided or unjustified sense of entitlement 
really get under my skin.  I am responding to just such a person below. 
  Since this is a Linuxant email list, I must stress that I am not 
affiliated with the company in any way other than I have purchased a 
driverloader license from them.  My response is below.

Duchesne Family wrote:
> When I bought my second NIC (TI-based) from Linksys, I carefully chose
> this model because it was supported by DriverLoader literally _out of
> the box_. Of all the money I gave to Linksys to pay for this NIC, a
> slice went to TI and ultimately to Linuxant to pay for _my_ DriverLoader
> license (i.e. the DriverLoader license associated with the MAC of _my_
> TI-based NIC). In other words, although I didn't have to go to
> Linuxant's web store to pay for my license, I still did pay for it.

Since it was your purchase of a Linksys NIC that got you the TI chipset, 
which got you the Linuxant license, you should be calling Linksys to 
discuss this issue.  A 3rd party vendor (linuxant), two levels of 
"subcontracting" downstream has no responsibility to you.  Their 
responsibility in this particular case is to TI via the agreement you 
speak of.  If they haven't lived up to their agreement with TI, TI would 
need to pursue a remedy.  You get your input to TI by going though Linksys.

A metaphor to help you understand... (this should be applicable outside 
the U.S. as well as within)  If the public road in front of your house 
needs repair, you call the government entity responsible for that road 
(town, state, etc.).  The government entity then contracts out the work 
to a road repair crew.  You do not, in *any* case, call the road repair 
crew directly.  They have no responsibility directly to you even though 
your money, collected as taxes, went to your governement entity and then 
on to the repair crew.

> So I paid for both licenses, but when I upgrade from DriverLoader 2.28
> to 2.29, my broadcom-based license is still OK, but my TI-based license
> is not OK anymore. That is what is not normal.

You "paid" for a Linksys NIC containing TI chips, which included a 
license that entitled you to the (at that time) current release of 
driverloader.  Revert to 2.28 and you'll have what you are entitled to. 
  Money isn't flowing from TI to Linuxant any more, yet you 
unexplainably expect Linuxant to continue development on your behalf at 
no charge?

> While it is sad that TI did not renew their licensing agreement with
> Linuxant, it should have absolutely no impact on me: I bought this TI
> card while the agreement was in full effect, and consequently I paid for
> the right to use my TI-based NIC with DriverLoader. I believe that
> Linuxant has absolutely no right to revoke my TI-based license in
> DriverLoader 2.29.

> I respectfully suggest that Linuxant rethink their policy on that
> matter. Stealing from your customers is not a good way to keep them.

Accusing a company of stealing from its customers is not a good way to 
get something that you are not entitled to, even if you do it 
"respectfully".  In fact, in this particular case, you are *not* their 
customer; TI is/was their customer.  Folks like you needlessly take up 
time and resources that companies could be spending on actual paying 
customers.  Indirectly, this means that paying customers like me have to 
pay more for a product since part of the cost of the product was 
supplying the resources to deal with customers and non-customers like you.

> One way to address this issue would be to look deeper at the MAC
> address: if the MAC address corresponds to a TI chipset that was
> manufactured while the agreement was in effect, then enable the OEM
> license. If the MAC address corresponds to a TI chipset that was
> manufactured after the agreement was revoked, then disable the OEM
> license. This would be fair.

Fair?  You want Linuxant to spend their development resources to 
implement your suggested code enhancement just to allow you to get 
upgrades and enhancements not covered by the agreement with TI (and 
therefore your license) for free?  Catering to folks like you would 
drive a company into the ground.

> PS: On top of that, when the agreement with TI was signed, you guys
> announced it with great fanfare at
> http://www.linuxant.com/company/press_dldrti.php?PHPSESSID=67983b97f44d75ec10f9417c63aa04cb
> But surprisingly, no announcement was made when TI didn't renew the
> agreement. So the aforementionned URL is misleading your customers.

One last stab at the company, accusing it of some unethical deed, 
because you want a freebie.  The "aforementionned (sic) URL" leads to a 
dated document.  The date lets you know when the statements within were 
made.  There is nothing misleading about that.

Instead of taking up this issue with Linksys, the company responsible 
for supporting the product, you have knowingly emailed 
baseless/meritless accusations of stealing (they have taken nothing from 
you) and/or misleading customers (you are not even their customer in 
this case) to a list that is read by Linuxant customers, potential 
customers, and other interested parties.

You have some responsibilities when you weild the power of the internet.



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