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Re: Bug#239952: kernel-source-2.6.4: qla2xxx contains non-free fi rmware

Humberto Massa wrote:
>?! That's the part I have difficulty understanding. As I have said 
>here before, there is no mistake in things unsaid... the code is 
>there, the copyright in in the top of the file, the license is there 
>*saying* to you it's GPL licensed, the origin of the blob is nowhere 
>in sight. _The only possible conclusion_ is that it's the pf4m 
>(=preferred form for modification). If asked and not responded, _the 
>only possible conclusion_ is that it's the pf4m. It's only the 
>opposite if the copyright holder (Qlogic, IBM, whoever) says "no, we 
>have a XX assembly file around here, but we won't show you." /Then/ 
>it's undistributable. Until then, if it's in a file, with valid 
>copyright assignment and license, we _must_ assume it's the pf4m IMHO.

The copyright holder is perfectly free to put a GPL header on code that
can't be distributed under the terms of the GPL, and can then give that
code to somebody else.

But more seriously, if I included a bunch of x86 binary code in a C
source file with a GPL header, would you automatically assume that that
was the preferred form of modification? Even if there was 300K of it?
Companies like Intel do not operate in a way that would allow them to
produce a piece of code that could only be maintained by one person.
Suggesting that the firmware was written by one person with an intimate
knowledge of the hardware and that if he was hit by a bus Intel would
have to start over is, frankly, implausible.

Matthew Garrett | mjg59-chiark.mail.debian.legal@srcf.ucam.org

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