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Re: Debian-installer, older hardware, boot loaders, miboot & amiboot & ..

On Sun, Mar 28, 2004 at 07:27:33PM +0200, Sven Luther wrote:

> > Sven Luther wrote:
> > > Well, the solution would be to force add the miboot stuff to the
> > > debian-installer svn tree, and use it to build. This would make
> > > debian-installer contrib/non-free though, which is why i asked for
> > > debain-legal help.
> > > 
> > > Note that one solution for this would be to make an exception for such
> > > bootloader stuff, and have them in the debian-installer SVN, in a
> > > boot-loader directory or something, and use them directly. This will not
> > > break autobuild, and everything would be fine, except when you upload
> > > said stuff to main.
> > 
> > That would violate the TOS for alioth. Do not check non-free code into
> > the d-i subversion repository.

> Well, the main point is, can you really speak about code when you are
> contemplating a 1k boot-sector, which is why i have CCed debian-legal,
> but got no response yet.

Legally, yes, you probably can.

But that's not really the main point, since we've also seen that miBoot
is currently not buildable using a free toolchain, and I get the
impression that no one thinks this can be fixed before sarge's release.
Whether or not the boot block is non-copyrightable (and therefore free),
miBoot will not meet the criteria for main in time for sarge, and we
will need some infrastructure to support contrib/non-free bits for d-i
(which will mean images also not in main).

Joey Hess's suggestion seems like a good one.

> Also, i wonder how free a free replacement could be, if in order to work
> it would have to be exactly the same as the one in question here. Do we
> really need to consider source code for this one ? And in this case,
> what would the source code of a small binary sector look like ? 

> I thought that copyright mat not apply to such cases, where there is
> only one way of making this kind of stuff work, and where the bit
> sequence is accordying short.

1k is definitely long enough to be copyrightable in prose and poetry.  I
don't know of any counterexamples in programming.

The FSF requires copyright assignment for any contributions of *source*
greater than 7 lines.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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