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Re: Bug#221709: ITP: at76c503a-source -- at76c503a driver source

On Wed, Nov 19, 2003 at 01:25:24PM -0800, Don Armstrong wrote:
> On Wed, 19 Nov 2003, Oliver Kurth wrote:
> > Sigh. So if Atmel says these files are no longer GPL'ed, but are just
> > freely distributable, it could at least go to non-free?
> Yes.
> > Sounds ridiculous. (Law is too complicated to me, so I stick to
> > programming ;-) )
> Thats part and parcel of the GPL... if the company doesn't include the
> prefered form for modification, no one else can distribute it.
> > Is there any way to get this into main, maybe regarding the fact that
> > this code is not run on the host but just on the device? I think
> > Atmel would be open to change the license, but I do not think they
> > will give the source to their holy (and btw buggy) firmware.
> Ugh. That's always annoying. Perhaps just a non-free package
> containing the firmware? (assuming we get permision to freely
> distribute it.) Is the firmware even necessary for the driver to work?

The firmware is needed. Without it, the device is completely dumb.
But there are some devices which can store the fw permanently. Also,
the fw is distributed on their (windows) installation CDs.

> One wonders why they don't just open up the source to the firmware
> drivers since they aren't planning on making any more updates to it.

I am not sure about this. I think this is true only for the devices with
Intersil radio.

But anyway, it is annoying.


 : :' :    Oliver Kurth oku@debian.org
 `. `'           Debian GNU/Linux maintainer - www.debian.org
When sending passwords, please use my gpg key. That's what it's good for.

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