Re: Bug#239952: kernel-source-2.6.4: qla2xxx contains non-freefirmware
>>>>> "Henning" == Henning Makholm <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
Henning> Scripsit Henning Makholm <email@example.com>
>> It ought not to be difficult (neither in a technical or in a
>> economic/legal sense) for manufacturers to ship the standard
>> firmware as a separate file on the driver CD that usually
>> accompanies such hardware, and for the authors of free drivers
>> to make the kernel look for the firmware on the file system
>> when the device is first accessed. The driver could log an
>> appropriate message during boot-up which some appropriate
>> package could inspect (during installation, or even at each
>> boot if so configured) and ask the user to insert the vendor's
>> driver CD in order to copy firmware from it.
Henning> A side question: Does -legal think that it would be OK
Henning> for Debian to distribute *checksums* of the non-free
Henning> magic blob-of-bits, such that it can be located inside a
Henning> Windows driver on a disk without needing to know its
Henning> exact position?
Yes. I don't think the checksum is copyrightable. It doesn't seem
likely to be NDA material in most cases.
You could change the checksum all you want; it would break the code,
but we've never had a requirement that you be able to make arbitrary
changes to code and have it still work.