rtl-sdr licensing question

Scott Cutler scott at scottcutler.net
Fri Feb 28 07:42:14 UTC 2014


Greetings, all--
A while back I asked some questions about licensing of the rtl-sdr
libraries, especially with regard to use with non-GPL software.  At the
time, I was told that the ExtIO libraries were considered an acceptable
use-case.

My code has been in development, and for various reasons--the largest being
the desire for transmit support--I have developed my own HW abstraction
layer called SDRIO.  At the moment, I support rtl-sdr, bladeRF, and Funcube
Dongle devices via the abstraction layer.  The layer will, of course, be
GNU licensed and thus free for anyone to modify or extend.

My intent is thus for SDRIO to live in the same niche as ExtIO and thus
have the blessings of the developers.  I'm aware that you cannot give legal
advice; my hope is only that, if someone comes to me saying I violated the
rtl-sdr license, that at least I can tell them that I've talked with the
lead developers and that they've given me the same permissions as the ExtIO
developers.

I have placed the code here in case anyone wishes to look at the current
state (though please note that the text of the licensing is not yet
finished):
https://github.com/spcutler/SDRIO/blob/master

The SDRIO_RTLSDR module is quite thin and I hope does not give the
impression that SDRIO is just supposed to be a wrapper.  If you look at the
other devices, you can see that they require more code and that the project
as a whole is quite a bit more than a wrapper.

Thank you for your time!

-Scott
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