Re: Bug#221709: ITP: at76c503a-source -- at76c503a driver source
Scripsit Oliver Kurth <email@example.com>
> But you do not seem to see my point: the human readable sources of the
> firmware files are _not_ open. The hex files, ie. the compiled form,
> in ACSII format they say _are_ GPL'ed (despite the disclaimer in those
> files, see above).
What you're missing is that if one applies the GPL is applied to
compiled code alone, it does not give any permission to distribute
at all. GPL allows compiled code to be distributed only if it is
accompanied with source, which these firmware files are not according
to the GPL's own definition. So in this context GPL is equivalent to
"no permission to distribute".
That may not be a problem for the original author (who, owning the
copyright, can permit himself to distribute no matter what the license
he offers to others say), but it is certainly a problem for Debian.
Sourceless GPLed code cannot be distributed even in non-free.
Henning Makholm "Jeg kunne ikke undgå at bemærke at han gik på hænder."