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Re: gens License Check - Non-free

On Fri, 2004-06-18 at 20:47, Michael Poole wrote:
> Patrick Herzig writes:
> > The question is if the Linux kernel itself can be interpreted as being a
> > "storage or distribution medium". Storage or distribution of binary
> > blobs is at least not the primary purpose of the Linux kernel as it
> > would be much easier to just store or distribute them on tape.
> What does the primary purpose have anything to do with it?  When I buy
> a new computer, I do it because I want the functionality it offers --
> not because it is a distribution medium for software.

This statement was not intended to be a complete argument for or against
anything. It is part of an exploratory approach at interpreting a legal
document. This first statement makes it clear that if the Linux kernel
is to be interpreted as a storage medium this interpretation has to
based on something else than the primary purpose and one has to look
further (unlike a tape or CD where storage is indeed the primary

> > Also, the Linux kernel is, unlike a tape or a CD, not really suitable
> > for storing or distributing binary blobs as it is (in that sense)
> > intangible and needs to be attached to a medium to be stored or
> > distributed.
> I don't follow.  Does this line of argument mean that a Debian mirror
> server or archive violates the GPL, since Debian too is intangible?

It simply means that I have doubts about the storage medium quality of
the Linux kernel as of its intangible nature. We should approach the
question if Debian as a whole can be subsumed under "storage medium"
when (and if) the question comes up. (This is unlikely as the
"intangible Debian", unlike the Linux kernel, keeps its packages
reasonably seperate so that we can rely on the respective medium Debian
is distributed on to invoke the "mere aggregation" clause.)


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