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

Josh Triplett writes:

> Mere aggregation only applies to independent works, and only when they
> are distributed "on a volume of a storage or distribution medium".
> Separate, non-interdependent programs on Debian CDs fit both criteria.

They are part of a Debian system.  That makes them neither separate
nor entirely independent, especially when you look at the packaged

> Firmware images embedded in kernel drivers fit neither.

Please, demonstrate why the firmware is not an independent work.  No
one has done so yet.  Then define "interdependent programs" and
explain why that concept is relevant to the embedded firmware.

>> Some people disagree with Linus that inclusion as a binary blob is
>> mere aggregation.  However, five years passed between the first binary
>> blob that I know of and the first complaint that I know of (setting
>> aside the other issues with that complaint); that suggests that a fair
>> number of kernel developers agree with Linus or at least accept his
>> opinion on it.
> Or they were simply unaware of the presence of binary-only firmware in
> what was supposedly an entirely Free, GPLed kernel.

"There are none so blind as those who will not see."  In one prominent
case, a contributor who has alleged copyright infringement made the
allegedly infringed contributions to a component where more than a
quarter of the files (and almost half of the code bytes) were firmware
headers -- before he contributed to it.  I am still waiting for him to
explain why anyone should accept his claims, since he made no comment
about the headers when he offered the contribution.


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