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Re: TG3 firmware report...

<posted & mailed>

Paul Hampson wrote:

> On Sat, Oct 09, 2004 at 07:10:33PM -0400, Daniel Freedman wrote:
>> Unfortunately, I believe that my server board contains one of the rare
>> on-board Broadcom chipsets that is completely unable to function (best
>> as I can tell), without downloading this firmware, or without at least
>> disabling the download of it... In other words, it works perfectly
>> with 2.4.26, but not at all with 2.6.8.  It's recognized fine, get's
>> IP address fine, has kernel modules loaded etc., but simply drops
>> packets off the stack...
>> Anyway, just thought I'd see what people think of this, and how the
>> Debian community wants to proceed.  Is there some way to enable
>> compability with this without downloading the firmware and violating
>> the DFSG?
> Surely you can grab the firmware yourself, dump it into the appropriate
> place in /lib/firmware (the boot message from the tg3 driver tells you)
> and then it'll work on next boot?
> This won't break the DFSG as far as I know, 'cause you're not
> distributing the firmware and Broadcom presumably are happy for you to
> download it yourself for use.
> Unless of course the firmware itself is GPL'd, and therefore no one
> can legally give it out without offering the source as well.

It is GPLed.  This is why it hasn't been put in non-free.  :-P

Contact Broadcom and ask them to do one of the following things:
(1) Release source for the firmware
(2) Release the firmware under a license which allows distribution without

Until they do one of these two things, the firmware is not safe to
distribute.  I don't know why upstream is distributing it; I believe they
are simply being sloppy about licensing.

> I'm not sure this is the right list for this topic, anyway...

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