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Re: DRAFT for a GR proposal concerning the Sarge release

On Wed, Apr 28, 2004 at 10:36:20AM -0700, Don Armstrong wrote:
> [I think I really should have sent this originally to -legal... feel
> free to send it back over there if you think it's more
> appropriate.[1]]

M-F-T (hopefully correctly) set.

> On Wed, 28 Apr 2004, Michael Banck wrote:
> > I would not consider firmware a 'derivative work' of the kernel, as
> > it is usually (correct me if I'm wrong) developed completely
> > independent from the driver and only included in the source for
> > convenience for the hardware vendor (i.e. saving a bit of money for
> > the ROM and being more flexible).
> The real question is: Is "kernel source tarball" (the final product) a
> derivative work of "other kernel source" + "non-GPLed firmware" or a
> mere aggregation of the two. If it is a derivative work, as I'm
> inclined to believe since it forms a whole product and so many people
> are complaining about removing that part, then the whole derivative
> work must be capable of being distributed under the GPL.
Hmm, I know why I don't frequent -legal very often, this is all quite
complicated :) Reading the GPL again, I guess the system exclusion does
not apply either, right?

> There are only a few people really qualified to answer this question,
> and one of them is Eben Moglen. If there's still some doubt, he might
> be the person to ask... (or perhaps the licensing@gnu.org people,
> which is probably one and the same.)[2]

Actually, I believe licensing@gnu.org is David 'novalis' Turner (a cool
guy), and as I happen to know him, I might ask him about it. But if
anybody else of you wants to go forth, be my guest, as you probably know
much more about this issue than me.


Michael Banck
Debian Developer

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