mbed’s BSD B.S.?
A couple days ago mbed, the ARM platform with a silly online compiler, announced that it’s register abstraction layer would be released under an open source BSD license. Readers raised the point that this is only partly true. We hate it when open source is used as a publicity ploy with only partial code releases, even when friends do it. The major complaints seem to be:
- Registration is required to download
- Open source files are mixed into a single package that has a restrictive non-open source license. This license doesn’t allow porting to other platforms, a page out of Microchip’s playbook. Ugh.
Legalese iz hard, so this could definitely be an oversight by developers who care more about code releases than the technicalities of licensing.
Here’s what the community is saying:
…[a] single big CMSIS package is still provided (filename: CMSIS-SP-00300-r3p2-00rel1.zip), which includes both BSD-licensed and proprietary-licensed components.
The problem, as the initial messages says, is that user is given non-OpenSource, highly restrictive EULA to accept before downloading the complete package, with provisions in that EULA directly conflicting with BSD license.
Emilio Monti, mbed forum.
…Emilio specifically links: “We are distributing some of its components in the mbed SDK sources”. I clicked through and am finding non-BSD licensed code (example)…
“This file can be freely distributed within development tools that are supporting such ARM based processors.” That’s not BSD and not open source.
I would love to be proven wrong, but this looks like the second time mbed has made a BS announcement about being open source. Worse, DP has posted both announcements with a prominent OSI logo without verifying the claims. DP, you are part of the problem.
mossmann, via the comments. Criticism taken. We didn’t dig through the source before posting, but we’ll highlight the issue now.
If you want just the BSD licensed code, Paul uploaded it to github.
This entry was posted in open source and tagged mBed.