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

On Tue, Apr 05, 2005 at 08:56:09PM +0200, Josselin Mouette wrote:
> Le mardi 05 avril 2005 à 12:50 -0600, Chris Friesen a écrit :
> > Josselin Mouette wrote:
> > 
> > > The fact is also that mixing them with a GPLed software gives
> > > an result you can't redistribute - although it seems many people
> > > disagree with that assertion now.
> > 
> > This is only true if the result is considered a "derivative work" of the 
> > gpl'd code.
> > 
> > The GPL states "In addition, mere aggregation of another work not based 
> > on the Program with the Program (or with a work based on the Program) on 
> > a volume of a storage or distribution medium does not bring the other 
> > work under the scope of this License."
> > 
> > Since the main cpu does not actually run the binary firmware, the fact 
> > that it lives in main memory with the code that the cpu *does* run is 
> > irrelevent.  In this case, the Debian stance is that the kernel proper 
> > and the binary firmware are "merely aggregated" in a volume of storage ( 
> > ie. system memory).
> It merely depends on the definition of "aggregation". I'd say that two
> works that are only aggregated can be easily distinguished and
> separated. This is not the case for a binary kernel module, from which
> you cannot easily extract the firmware and code parts.

Josselin, please read the thread i linked to in debian-legal, and as nobody
really gave reason to oppose it, i believe we have consensus that those
firmware blobs constitute mere agregation, provided they are clearly
identified and properly licenced, which they are not always.

Let's take this to debian-legal only if you want to further discuss it.


Sven Luther

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