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Re: How long is it acceptable to leave *undistributable* files in the kernel package?

On Thu, Jun 17, 2004 at 06:03:16PM +0000, Jim Marhaus wrote:
> Traditionally people have erred on the side of caution in interpreting free
> licenses, following the wishes of the copyright holder and looking to the
> license's author for guidance. In this case the FSF indicates the binary
> firmware may violate the GPL. Kernel copyright holders also claim this, as well
> as some legally knowledgeable folks within Debian. Isn't Debian better served
> by removing the potentially infringing files than playing lawyer and trying to
> justify the infringement?

You speak as if this has no negative effects.  In fact, it does.
By removing, let's say, the tg3 driver, you make Debian unusable for a
large percentage of users.  Those users turn to other distributions who,
strangely, have much better paid legal counsel than Debian.  Surely if
anyone should be concerned, it's one with a half-billion dollar market
capitalisation rather than one with tens of thousands in its bank account.

"Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon 
the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those
conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse
to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince 
himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep 
he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception." -- Mark Twain

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