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

Brian Thomas Sniffen <bts@alum.mit.edu> writes:

> Michael Poole <mdpoole@troilus.org> writes:
>> I expect that if a contributor has an uncommon interpretation of the
>> license requirements, he should check.
> I suspect that few people think a GPL'd installer of Microsoft Word
> would be compliant with the GPL.  That's a reasonable analogy, right?
> A hardcoded string, copied to some device which runs it, and maybe
> with some additional setup.

The installer can be GPLed, sure.  Why shouldn't it be?  You will
likely run into other copyright issues because you do not have
permission to redistribute Microsoft Word like that, but it is
irrelevant to the GPLness of the installer.

>> On top of that, one of the earliest places I can find that Richter
>> contributed code was in ... reworking the USB serial device support
>> (the very thing he complained infringed his copyrights).  It makes me
>> wonder if he took debate lessons from debial-legal -- or vice versa.
> Your repeated insults to the people here are not convincing anyone.
> Do they help you reason better?  If not, I suggest that they are
> counterproductive.

They are calculated to try to get the people here to apply reasoning
rather than their usual patterns of assuming they are the governing
authority.  Andrew declined to back up his legal procedure claims and
misquoted me in a way he should have known I did agree with; Joe
rejected an analytical tool I suggested without offering a
replacement.  In both cases it was after I suggested ways they could
further the debate in a way I thought would be productive.  There is
only so far I will go to support rational argument when others refuse.

> To put this in more concrete terms: the copyright holder for some of
> the code Debian distributes claims that his license is being
> violated.  What do you suggest we do?  It appears that you suggest we
> ignore him or tell him that his interpretation of copyright law is
> incorrect.  That doesn't seem very nice.

It is not his interpretation of copyright law, but his interpretation
of the license, that is incorrect.  Telling him that may not be nice,
but nobody suggested the right way to deal with SCO was being nice to
them, either.  If someone insists that his copyright is being
infringed, we should stop distributing *his* code.  It is not fair to
other parties that his complaints should cause the removal of their


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