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Re: more evil firmwares found

@ 14/04/2004 16:09 : wrote Chris Cheney :

 The only part of DFSG that I saw that pertains to this matter is
 section 2.

 2. Source Code The program must include source code, and must allow
 distribution in source code as well as compiled form.

 This statement is vague. All the drivers that have been discussed
 include the source code and can be compiled, the only question has
 been whether the hex data structure in the driver source violates
 section 2 (AIUI). The way that section 2 is worded I believe it does
 not. These data structures differ from the nvidia object files in
 that they are in the code itself and not separate x86 compiled object
 files. They are also not meant to run on the host cpu directly so
 probably could not even be compiled on a FOSS system in the first
 place even if they are not the original form of source for the
 firmware. Others I have talked to have said that if 2 is considered
 in violation then even if we did have the source code if we had no
 way to compile it then it still could not go into Debian. Also, if we
 have no way to compile the source how would we even know if it is
 really the source to begin with?


Man, you are my new hero. Ok, let's start from the beginning:

1. if there's a blob in a fw[] = { 0x0, ... }, in a GPL'd file, there is nothing precluding debian from considering it the source code; for all we know, it can be 4KB of register initial values for the hardware; it can be and FPGA description, ie, a /hardware/, non-software description. we can even, and _safely_ assume it's copyrighted by the same person/entity that owns the copyright of the file; we won't be misrepresenting that.

2. in the cases where it's _stated_, _explicitly_ that fw[] is code, copyrighted by someone else, with and incompatible license, it has to be (a) yanked and separated into non-free if possible [=still distributable] or (b) tossed away when not distributable by debian.

Does it seem sooo unreasonable?


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