Re: more evil firmwares found
On Tue, 20 Apr 2004, Claus Färber wrote:
> Don Armstrong <firstname.lastname@example.org> schrieb/wrote:
> > Yes, and we've pretty much rejected it. While they might actually use
> > ASM, I've yet to run into someone who regularly codes (and modifies
> > their code) in machine language.
> Even if the firmware is originally written in Assembler, the binary
> code (or actually the C struct representing the binary code) could
> be considered a "sourcecode equivalent" if it is disassembleable
> (and simple enough so that the disassembled code is very similar to
> the preferred version to make modifications).
First off, that's not what they've given us, nor (to my knowledge) can
we get to the assembly, so this gedanken isn't applicable.
Secondly, if the original assembly contains any comments at all, then
the disassembled binary is no longer the prefered form for
modification. What the GPL asks for is not that controversial. You
need to supply the prefered form for modification, which is
(generally) the exact same form that you used to create the work in
the first place. [And no, the author stating that "foo" can be
considered source under the GPL isn't good enough if "foo" isn't the
really the prefered form for modification.]
Finally, it's not enough that the source code be reconstructable to
satisfy the GPL. We either have to distribute the source code
alongside under GPL 3(a), or include a written offer to provide the
source code under GPL 3(b). [Because of the obvious practical matters,
we don't distribute stuff under 3(b)...]
Dropping non-free would set us back at least, what, 300 packages? It'd take
MONTHS to make up the difference, and meanwhile Debian users will be fleeing
And what about SHAREHOLDER VALUE?
-- Matt Zimmerman in <gYuD3D.A.ayC.nGB39@murphy>