why Docs for the ELONICS E4000 are not published

Harald Welte laforge at gnumonks.org
Tue May 15 22:24:53 UTC 2012


Hi Jay,

this is very rapidly slipping off-topic, but FYI:

On Tue, May 15, 2012 at 04:34:17PM -0500, Jay Salsburg wrote:
> I at least learned something about the Chips in these new TV Tuner
> Sticks, the tuner is perhaps British. Information about these chips,
> it seems, is kept secret for some (unimportant) reason I cannot
> understand. 

One of the  typical reason is quite simple and (unfortunately)
understandable:

If you openly document how your hardware works, then you are inviting
patent trolls and patent lawsuits.   If they can go to court and show
your own documentation as evidence, you will have a hard time arguing
that the documentation was wrong.

If the documentation is not publicly released and under NDA, than any
patent troll getting hold of it (and/or their collaborators) would have
been violating the NDA.

If there is not documentation, then the patent troll would have to
actually do silicon reverse engineering and invest money and time before
they have evidence.  And then that evidence gets questioned, and the
process how it was obtained.  Possible, but much more effort.

The point is not whether a given device infringes a patent or not.  The
point is simply that there are companies out there who simply pick the
easiest targets.  And unfortunately those that have open documentation
are easier to attack than those that don't :(

-- 
- Harald Welte <laforge at gnumonks.org>           http://laforge.gnumonks.org/
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