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Re: more evil firmwares found

@ 25/04/2004 05:43 : wrote Tollef Fog Heen :

* Ryan Underwood
| Is it not DFSG-free if the source .EPS [to the PNG file] is not

Assuming it is software, it might be.  It depends on the license of
the PNG file.  It would not be ok if the PNG file is GPLed, but I
can't see any problem if it was BSD-licensed, for instance.

These (PNG, MIDI-derived WAV's) are bad examples, anyway because in general they can be (somewhat) easily converted back to "source" (vectorizing software in the first case, note-extraction in the second...) but our central problem (the "evil firmware" in the Subject: above) boils down to: 1. there are some (big?) blobs of hex in some source files of the pristine kernel; 2. we know in some cases and assume in others that those are "firmware", i.e., *programs* to be loaded in some other addressing space (that is not the same of the main CPUs), and to be *executed* by some other processing unit; 3. in the case our assuptions/knowledge in (2) above is correct, this could render a debian kernel binary package undistributable; 4. the solution to (3), assuming the worse possible result, while trying not to hurt debian users, is: (a) to yank the hex blobs from the kernel source; (b) put the distributable blobs in separate packages in non-free; (c) work on some way to load the blobs from userspace;

If we separate the blobs from the kernel source, all gets well, because the blobs are not a derived work of the kernel under no assumptions. What does not get well is the support to hardware that depends on the blobs to work, so (b)+(c) above would (I think) normalize things. Except, of course, for these blobs that are deemed undistributable. For those, other solution might be in order.


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