Development of OpenHAL, a wireless network component for Linux, can now resume unfettered after months of legal uncertainty. OpenHAL allows people with wireless cards based on technology from Atheros Communications, Inc. to connect to networks using solely free and open source software.
Earlier this year, allegations were made that OpenHAL might include material that infringed the copyright of Atheros' proprietary HAL software. The Linux Wireless developers asked the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) to investigate these rumors, and SFLC agreed to help on a pro-bono basis. SFLC subsequently conducted a confidential audit, carefully comparing OpenHAL to Atheros' proprietary HAL code.
After performing the audit, SFLC concluded that OpenHAL does not infringe copyrights held by Atheros. As a result, OpenHAL development can now continue safely, unencumbered by legal uncertainty so long as the OpenHAL developers continue their work in isolation from Atheros' proprietary code.