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Re: Binary-only firmware covered by the GPL?

Scripsit "Juergen E. Fischer" <fischer@linux-buechse.de>
> On Tue, Mar 30, 2004 at 17:51:38 +0100, Henning Makholm wrote:

> > No, law does not work that way. The phrase "preferred form for
> > modification" has a clear enough, if somewhat fuzzy, literal meaning,

> Doesn't that phrase only apply to paragraph 3 of the GPL which covers
> source code in case of distribution in object code or executable form. 

> Paragraph 1 allows distribution of source code "as you receive it" -
> which IMHO allows source distribution in the current form.

I hadn't thought of that, but I don't think it makes a difference. A
court would be likely to reason thus: Section 1 uses the phrase
"source code" without defining it. On the other hand, there is an
explicit definition of "source code" in section 3. In default of
any contrary indication it mus be assumed that the licensor did not
intend the phrase to mean different things in sections 1 and 3.
Therefore, the definition from section 3 applies to the occurrence in
section 1 also.

> So I guess distribution of source in main should be ok.

In any case, these deliberations concern only the theoretical
possibility of distributing in non-free. If the software is lacking
something that *we* don't recognize as source, then we *will* not
distribute it in main, no matter whether we would be legally *allowed*
to do it.

Henning Makholm           "Larry wants to replicate all the time ... ah, no,
                   all I meant was that he likes to have a bang everywhere."

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