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Re: How long is it acceptable to leave *undistributable* files in the kernel package?

Joe Wreschnig writes:

> I was using a minimal test case as an example here, but fine; consider a
> program that does many nontrivial things, one of which is printing such
> a string. For example it might print the source, count the number of
> times an identifier is used, count the number of lines, etc. Keep in
> mind that the string is still hardcoded into the program, though.
> Filtration, then, cannot remove any of my code, since it now clearly
> meets a standard of "creative work". This is much closer to the kernel
> situation, because the kernel does much more than store firmware blobs.

An important part of AFC is that it recognizes a program is not an
inseparable whole: Parts can be taken in isolation and compared
against parts of other programs.

Besides, the further you take your example from "sends the string to a
device," the less applicable it becomes to loading firmware: whether
the firmware's data is aggregated into the kernel or not is irrelevant
to whether the kernel uses the interface exposed by the firmware.

> In addition, I've not ever heard of AFC being used to distinguish
> between "compilation" and "derivative" works, only to distinguish
> whether or not two (very similar) bodies of code were a result of
> illegal copying or a result of the nature of the programs in question
> (usually, employees writing code for one company, and then another). We
> are not faced with a question like that at all here, so I don't find it
> applicable.

I suggested that if you don't like it, offer an alternative test.  It
is becoming tedious to discuss this with people who expect the rest of
the world to bow to their authority.


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