[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: firmware status for eagle-usb-*: non-distributable

<posted & mailed>

Martin Braure de Calignon wrote:

> I wanted to know if the binary files in the
> eagle-usb-{utils,data,source} package are free.

> When I get the source of the package (apt-get source), there is a
> LICENSE file in the root directory which says that the package is GPL.
> But in the eagle-usb-1.9.9/driver/firmware/sagem/* directories, the
> files seems to be binary files, and there's no sources for them. Are
> they considered as data files only ? (like a picture ?)
No.  But the situation is worse; see below.

> Can you give me some information about this ? Does this package need
> to be in non-free ?

This package is undistributable, for several reasons.
(1)  From the GPL:  "This License applies to any program or other work which
 contains a notice placed by the copyright holder saying it may be
 distributed under the terms of this General Public License"

Most of the upstream program does *not* contain such notices, so it doesn't
have a proper license and isn't technically distributable at all.  Contact
the copyright holders and get them to fix this by adding the standard

    <one line to give the program's name and a brief idea of what it does.>
    Copyright (C) <year>  <name of author>

    This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
    it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
    the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or
    (at your option) any later version.

Ideally the notice would be on *each file*.  (Alternately, a single notice
in a toplevel file like LICENSE or README, which mentions that it covers
all the files in the tarball, would be fine, as long as it was accurate.)

Note that this must be done and approved, by all copyright holders:
- Copyright (c) 2001,2002 Analog Devices Inc.
- Copyright (c) 2002,2003 Christian Casteyde <casteyde.christian@free.fr>
- Copyright (c) 2003,2004 Fred "Sleeper" Ros <sl33p3r@free.fr>
- Copyright (c) 2003 R. Guerin <rguerin@freebox.fr>
- Copyright (c) 2003,2004 Olivier "Tux" Borowski <coin@tuxfamily.org>
- Copyright (c) 2003,2004 Benoit Audouard <baud123@tuxfamily.org>

(You can't license on behalf of a different copyright holder.)

(2) driver/eu_firmware.h is binary code without source code.  It is
therefore non-free.

But more importantly, we don't have a license to distribute it.
It is licensed under the GPL according to the file.  Unfortunately,to
distribute under the GPL, we'd need to distribute source in order to
distribute them, and we don't have source.

To put this in non-free, we need explicit permission from the copyright
holder (Analog Devices) to distribute *without* source.  This means an
MIT/X11 license or a 2-clause BSD license, for instance.

Alternatively, Analog Devices could release the source code.  It doesn't
need to be compilable with free tools to satisfy the GPL; it just has to be
the source code.  Then we could put this in contrib.

(2) driver/firmware/sagem/* are binary code without source code.  They are
therefore non-free.  Worse, we have no license to distribute them at all.

Again, to put this in non-free, we need the copyright holder to issue them
under a license which allows them to be distributed.  (Licensing under GPL
and including source would work.  Licensing under 2-clause BSD and not
including source would also work.)

This package should be removed from Debian before Debian gets sued for
copyright infringement.

This space intentionally left blank.

Reply to: