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Re: The bigger issue is badly licensed blobs (was Re: Firmware poll

Op wo, 30-08-2006 te 17:16 +0200, schreef Toni Mueller:
> Hello,
> On Wed, 30.08.2006 at 09:27:21 +0200, Marco d'Itri <md@Linux.IT> wrote:
> > On Aug 30, Nathanael Nerode <neroden@fastmail.fm> wrote:
> > > Debian must decide whether it wants to ship BLOBs with licensing which
> > > technically does not permit redistribution.  At least 53 blobs have this
> > > problem.  Many of them are licensed under the GPL, but without source code
> > > provided.  Since the GPL only grants permission to distribute if you
> > > provide source code, the GPL grants no permission to distribute in these
> > > cases.
> > Many people disagree with this interpretation.
> I'm not a lawyer, but my take on this is that if someone ships you a
> BLOB under the GPL, you have the legal right to demand sources from
> him. So, in other words, I think Debian (or SPI? or FSF?) *could* make
> a real hurricane in the press (and courts) by trying to wrestle source
> code from said vendors. If that'd be good or bad for Debian, I don't
> know, but it will be very expensive and time consuming.

No you can not demand this from the vendor which owns the copyright on
the BLOB. They are not bound by the GPL and can distribute the BLOB
anyway the want. 

Third parties, like Debian, are bound by the GPL to distribute the BLOB
with the corresponding sources and if they don't distribute the source
the can not distribute the BLOB. 

Of course IANAL and don't know the fine details of copyright law.

Greetings Arjan

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