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Thread: Wireless Card Install Program

  1. #1
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    Wireless Card Install Program

    As I mentioned in the Location thread, I am working on writing a script that will try to install wireless cards for Ubuntu. The scripting is not too big of a problem, but the part that I have concerns with is with the downloading of the drivers.

    Am I breaking any laws by supplying the drivers or if I use a wget to download the drivers for the user? Is there a way to avoid this issue?
    Last edited by Ayuthia; August 15th, 2007 at 02:03 PM. Reason: Fixed misspelled word

  2. #2
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    Re: Wireless Card Install Program

    Quote Originally Posted by Ayuthia View Post
    As I mentioned in the Location thread, I am working on writing a script that will try to install wireless cards for Ubuntu. The scripting is not too big of a problem, but the part that I have concerns with is with the downloading of the drivers.

    Am I breaking any laws by supplying the drivers or if I use a wget to download the drivers for the user? Is there a way to avoid this issue?
    Assuming you are downloading Windows drivers for some network cards (my Dell 1500 Draft N' needed Windows drivers as an example) then I think you are violating a law in the United States, and probably a few other Western countries in Europe. Don't hold me to this though, as I may be mistaken.

    The reason why I am unsure is because I think this dispute is happening as we speak. For an example, Ubuntu will now install video card drivers for you after a click of the button (Restricted Drivers Manager). The drivers it installs aren't legal ones, at least to my knowledge. It has installed propriety drivers onto all four of my boxes.

    I do know that installing the Windows drivers via ndiswrapper isn't illegal as far as Linux "laws" are concerned. There was a small push to make binaries illegal to install in Linux. From an open source standpoint, if I am not mistaken, installing the binary drivers for wireless cards isn't legal.

    You don't actually plan on supplying the wireless drivers though do you? If it was in the package, it would inevitably make the release quite large. If you hosted them on a website of yours, that would inevitably make bandwidth costs quite high. Do you just plan to download them from the Dell or HP website (and other vendors)?

    I don't know much programming, a little Visual Basic and PHP, but if you want help testing I have a laptop I can use to test with. I'll have to do a little partitioning and install a second copy of Ubuntu though, in case your script ends my wireless life.

  3. #3
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    Re: Wireless Card Install Program

    I originally was planning on downloading the drivers from the site because packaging them or hosting them would be too expensive. If there are too many legal issues, I will not release it to the group. I will have to look into that further.

    I think I will continue on my adventure with getting a couple of cards working. If you send me the pci id of your wireless card, I will get yours added you the script for testing.

  4. #4
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    Re: Wireless Card Install Program

    Quote Originally Posted by Ayuthia View Post
    I originally was planning on downloading the drivers from the site because packaging them or hosting them would be too expensive. If there are too many legal issues, I will not release it to the group. I will have to look into that further.

    I think I will continue on my adventure with getting a couple of cards working. If you send me the pci id of your wireless card, I will get yours added you the script for testing.
    So if you don't plan on releasing it why are you working on it?

    It sounds like it could be a really good idea seeing as how it seems as though the Ubuntu developers aren't really supporting the wireless users all that much. A lot of wireless cards don't work out of the box.

  5. #5
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    Re: Wireless Card Install Program

    Now that I have a family, I can't quite afford getting into any legal issues. I am sure that there will be some way that I can get it out there so I am not giving up on it. I just need to find the right way of doing it.

  6. #6
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    Re: Wireless Card Install Program

    Quote Originally Posted by Ayuthia View Post
    Now that I have a family, I can't quite afford getting into any legal issues. I am sure that there will be some way that I can get it out there so I am not giving up on it. I just need to find the right way of doing it.
    I'd suggest you create your original topic in the Community Discussion section. This way you will get a lot of fresh faces throwing ideas on the topic rather than just mine.

    Rather than having the script automatically download the binary drivers, you could create a simple switch statement that follows something like:

    Code:
    If wirelessCard = ModelXXYYZZ
       echo "Please visit http://xxx.yyy.zzz"
    This way you aren't actually providing the driver, you are simply saying where they can get it.

  7. #7
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    Re: Wireless Card Install Program

    It is going to head over there soon. I wanted to start with the Wisconsin Team first to get some ideas and then work with the bigger crowd.

    Your suggestion of having to go to the site might be where it ends up if I can't find a legal solution. Then if someone wants to take my source and update it, they may do so. It would not be too difficult to change that part.

  8. #8
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    Re: Wireless Card Install Program

    Wouldn't it be a program kind of like ENVY? Wouldn't the legality of it be close to using ENVY to install your graphics drivers?
    Dialup or no internet on your Ubuntu box? Have no fear, Keryx is here! Keryx Project
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  9. #9
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    Re: Wireless Card Install Program

    Quote Originally Posted by Ayuthia View Post
    It is going to head over there soon. I wanted to start with the Wisconsin Team first to get some ideas and then work with the bigger crowd.

    Your suggestion of having to go to the site might be where it ends up if I can't find a legal solution. Then if someone wants to take my source and update it, they may do so. It would not be too difficult to change that part.
    Understandable. I just wanted to suggest the broader community it all.

    By the way, here is my lspci output:

    Code:
    0b:00.0 Network controller: Broadcom Corporation Unknown device 4328 (rev 01)
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=297092

    This was the HOWTO that got my wireless working in Edgy and Feisty.

    If you want more information feel free to ask.

  10. #10
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    Re: Wireless Card Install Program

    Quote Originally Posted by EXCiD3 View Post
    Wouldn't it be a program kind of like ENVY? Wouldn't the legality of it be close to using ENVY to install your graphics drivers?
    I actually have not looked at ENVY as of yet. I would assume that they would be the same. I'll go check it out.

    By the way, great work on the dv9000 threads!

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