Re: Low-level protocols for the QuickCam (fwd)

"David D. Chow" (chow@cc.gatech.edu) wrote:

>Hi everyone,
>I got this canned message from Connectix the other day...
>Vishal Nanda wrote:

>> From nanda@connectix.com  Fri Dec  1 17:57:48 1995
[Connectix verbage snipped]

    A while back I contacted Connectix to see if I could get a
non-disclosure for the PC QuickCam.  My goal was to develop a Linux driver
for the thing, with an eye towards selling binaries of it for $5-10 a pop.
I got a copy of the agreement, which was all pretty standard except for one
clause that basically said (paraphrasing here) "If you are selling a
product in a market that Connectix is not currently in (like Linux), and
Connectix decides to enter that market, you must, if Connectix directs you,
cease sales and development of your products in that market".

    I spoke with Connectix, and said I had no problem with the NDA, except
for the above-mentioned clause.  I mean, I'm one person - if I open a new
market for Connectix products (They *are* trying to make money selling
QuickCams, are they not?), and they decide they'd like to dabble in this
"Linux stuff" by throwing a couple engineers at writing a driver , they can
shut me down!  How wrong-headed can you get???  Why would anyone in their
right mind agree to something like that?

    Anyway, I offered to return the signed NDA with that clause crossed
out.  They said they would forward my request to some high-level person.
I've never heard back from them.  So now they're selling fewer cameras than
they could (granted, not a huge loss - but they could be doing better) just
because they don't want to have any competition.  And they've succeeded in
pissing off people that have the technological ability to figure it out,
which will result in their precious "proprietary technology" being
splattered across the net.

    Personally, I've got several other irons in the fire now, and don't
have the time to help with the reverse-engineering project.  I'll be
lurking here to see how you make out.  I would like to have a camera on my
Linux box, but this company torques me off so much at this point I probably
wouldn't buy a QuickCam even if there *was* a Linux driver available.
Hopefully other companies in this market will be more friendly to the Linux

                        Best of luck!

Ed Bailey, Information Systems and Networks
(contracted to: National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences)
2327 Englert Drive.
Suite 200
Durham, NC 27713
 Internet: bailey@niehs.nih.gov
    Voice: (919)361-9422, extension 239
      FAX: (919)544-6642