ARO-1130CA Raid Card Support?

Doug Ledford dledford at
Wed Dec 23 13:41:11 PST 1998

Mike Bilow wrote:
> Doug Ledford wrote in a message to Mike Bilow:
>  DL> Honestly, I can get my hands on anything I want.  But, I'm
>  DL> under NDA on stuff I didn't already know and that Adaptec
>  DL> considers confidential.  Until Adaptec decides that the
>  DL> interface between the ARO-xxx RAID controllers and the
>  DL> official sequencer, and the byte code of that sequencer
>  DL> itself, is publically available, I couldn't release any code
>  DL> I wrote for the things.
> I was not aware that you had an NDA in force with Adaptec.  I don't mean to
> seem confrontational, but how do you distinguish what you can release under an
> open source license and whether any particular item of knowledge can be used?

I use a simple algorithm for this.  Technically, I port Justin Gibbs code to
linux and write my own kernel interface code.  The kernel interface code uses
very little in the way of Adaptec specific information.  The rest of the code
uses information about the aic7xxx chipsets in general that can be found in
the Adaptec literature.  This literature has been released to other people
without NDA (specifically to Justin Gibbs).  That is an explicit act of
information release.  So, the information in those docs I can use freely based
upon the fact that they released that information without NDA (any court would
reject the argument that some piece of information that I released was
damaging to Adaptec when they themselves also gave it away). 

> Your contributions have been extremely valuable, but I would be concerned that
> your situation could at some point in the future compromise the open source
> license of your driver. 

If I used the official Adaptec sequencer or other Adaptec code, I would be
concerned about this.  Without it, I'm not.  They've already released
everything but the actual code to at least one person without NDA which is
sufficient to establish precedent on the information  (specifically, once the
information has been released to at least one person that is not in any way
obligated to keep the information private, then regardless of whether or not
that person yells from the tallest building what is in that information or
not, it has been released, and as per standard NDA, once the information is
released to the public, I'm no longer under a gag restriction).

> Perhaps Justin has some comments that could clarify
> this, although as far as I know he has no NDA in force with Adaptec.
> -- Mike

  Doug Ledford   <dledford at>
   Opinions expressed are my own, but
      they should be everybody's.

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