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Slashdot: Barcode Maker Responds After Forcing Drivers Offline

Sep 05, 2000, 15:16 (10 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by CmdrTaco)

"Digital Convergence demanded last week that several developers take drivers offline that work with their "CueCat" barcode reader that was distributed freely through Radio Shack and through other places. They have taken the time to respond to the flak that they've taken, and I've attached their response below, interspersed with a few comments of my own. Read on to see what they have to say for themselves...."

"[Response from Digital:Convergence]: Digital:Convergence understands this Linux issue and the concerns expressed by the community. Had Digital:Convergence been approached by developers we would have been (and still will be) happy to work with them in a constructive direction. Instead, our products were reversed engineered and what has occurred is a public display of what is clearly our intellectual property. It is unfortunate the supporters of the open source community have taken steps to publicize intellectually property in-order to further their own goals and desires. Unfortunately, for us all, some of the people conducting these efforts would not voluntarily remove our IP, even after being contacted."

"[Slashdot]: Thank god. These folks worked hard to write code to use this piece of hardware, and it would be unfortunate if they were forced to take it down. Imagine if Linus had been forced by Intel to take down kernel versions that used their intellectual property in the early part of the last decade. A lot of companies have bullied a lot of people in the last couple of years, and it's only getting worse. Your CueCat, like DeCSS, is going to redefine what IP is. Personally, I hope that when I get a barcode reader, or a DVD-ROM drive (or a car, or phone, or any other physical thing), that I'm allowed to rip it apart and tinker with it at my discretion. I think that's my right as a consumer."

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