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Re: non-free firmware in kernel modules, aggregation and unclear copyright notice.

On Mon, Apr 04, 2005 at 04:55:27PM -0400, Theodore Ts'o wrote:
> On Mon, Apr 04, 2005 at 09:29:45PM +0200, Sven Luther wrote:
> > 
> > Nope, i am aiming to clarify this issue with regard to the debian kernel, so
> > that we may be clear with ourselves, and actually ship something which is not
> > of dubious legal standing, and that we could get sued over for GPL violation.
> > 
> You know, the fact that Red Hat, SuSE, Ubuntu, and pretty much all
> other commercial distributions have not been worried about getting
> sued for this alleged GPL'ed violation makes it a lot harder for me
> (and others, I'm sure) take Debian's concerns seriously.

They probably didn't care :)

> The problem may be that because Debian is purely a non-profit, and so
> it can't clearly balance the costs and benefits of trying trying to
> avoid every single possible risks where someone might decide to file a
> lawsuit.  Anytime you do *anything* you risk the possibility of a
> lawsuit, and if you allow the laywers to take over your business
> decisions, the natural avoid-risks-all-costs bias of lawyers are such
> that it will either drive a company out of business, or drive a
> non-profit distribution into irrelevance.....

Yes, the problem is indeed that we don't have a legal department which can
counter sue, and we are present in a much more widespread area than other
companies you cited above.

And ubuntu has those driver in their non-free equivalent also.

> If Debian wants to be this fanatical, then let those Debian developers
> who care do all of the work to make this happen, and stop bothering
> LKML.  And if it continues to remain the case that a user will have to
> manually edit /etc/apt/sources.lists (using vi!) to include a
> reference to non-free in order to install Debian on a system that
> requires the tg3 device driver, then I will have to tell users who ask
> me that they would be better off using some other distribution which
> actually cares about their needs.

I don't get this, and you threat me as fanatic. I am only saying that the
tg3.c and other file are under the GPL, and that the firmware included in it
is *NOT* intented to be under the GPL, so why not say it explicitly ? 


Sven Luther

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