Re: How to Install GPIB driver NI-488.2 on Ubuntu 8.04
Unfortunately there is the potential that the register map also contains valuable information, IP or not. I'm not sure how feasable this would be nowadays, with register models of custom interface chips going into the million of gates, but there has been in the past a data aquisition manufacturer who lived from creating cheap copy cat hardware from some competitors hardware and when users asked for drivers they were pointed at the competitors downloads.
Even with such a scenario not being really feasable nowadays, there still is quite a bit of development in many of the custom chips that are on nowadays higly integrated data acquisition hardware and a business does not necesseraly want the competition to know what there is and how it was all implemented. The alternative is to buy the competition so there isn't any left and that is an even worse scenario for the end user .
Also LGPL is unfortunately not a clear thing without any problem. It is no problem as long as you are not using it commercially since the stakes are small there. But basically most lawayers into license right will tell you that it it is at best ambigues and at worst a time bomb to explode at some point when used commercially. Also most open source software that LabVIEW makes use of in one way or the other is rather BSD style licensed rather than LGPL and that is because with BSD style license things are very clear. It states basically that one can do whatever one wants with the source as long as you don't sue the copyright holder for anything, don't use their name for advertisement and make at some point a notice about the use of that software. A clear situation and no ambigueties there. LGPL makes this all a lot more complicated since at what point do you derive from the LGPL software and at what point do you simply link to it? What is now accepted or at least tolerated, may be challenged tomorrow as being against the license, much in the same way as what has happened with closed source kernel drivers in the last few years.