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Re: Keyspan Firmware fun

Walter Landry <landry@physics.utah.edu> writes:

> I also don't see a (legal) problem with GPL programs that just move
> unfree data around.  Otherwise cp would have serious use restrictions.
> However, cp doesn't contain within itself the unfree data.  The
> keyspan drivers do.  If Adam's patch is applied, then (as I understand
> it) the kernel will no longer have the unfree data within itself.
> This would make most people happy.  Therefore, I think that Adam
> should get the patch incorporated ASAP (not waiting until 2.5).  This
> is, unfortunately, a legal decision about something that should be
> technical.  However, if Linus et. al. hadn't been such bozos in
> approving the license, we wouldn't be here.

I should be more clear, since it might seem that I'm saying different
contradictory things.

I don't think merely downloading the code is inherently a violation of
the GPL.  Indeed, packaging the code together with the kernel,
neither.  And whether this counts as mere aggregation is not something
I'm so confident about; my retraction in response to Sam Hartman was
ill-phrased, and I should have said that my objection didn't stand in
the same terms, not that I thought it was all peachy.

Most importantly, the fact is that the code in question cannot be
legally copied, and distributing it as part of Debian is contrary to
our principles and our guidelines.

I agree completely that the patch should be integrated ASAP.

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