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

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

On Thu, 7 Apr 2005, Humberto Massa wrote:

David Schmitt wrote:

 On Thursday 07 April 2005 09:25, Jes Sorensen wrote:

[snip] I got it from Alteon under a written agreement stating I
could distribute the image under the GPL. Since the firmware is
simply data to Linux, hence keeping it under the GPL should be just

 Then I would like to exercise my right under the GPL to aquire the
 source code for the firmware (and the required compilers, starting
 with genfw.c which is mentioned in acenic_firmware.h) since - as far
 as I know - firmware is coded today in VHDL, C or some assembler and
 the days of hexcoding are long gone.

First, there is *NOT* any requirement in the GPL at all that requires
making compilers available. Otherwise it would not be possible, for
instance, have a Visual Basic GPL'd application. And yes, it is possible.

Second, up until the present day I have personal experience with
hardware producers that do not have enough money to buy expensive
toolchains and used a lot of hand-work to code hardware parameters. So,
at least for them, hand-hexcoding-days are still going.



Well it doesn't make any difference. If GPL has degenerated to
where one can't upload microcode to a device as part of its
initialization, without having the "source" that generated that
microcode, we are in a lot of hurt. Intel isn't going to give their
designs away.

Last time I checked, GPL was about SOFTware, not FIRMware, and
not MICROcode. If somebody has decided to rename FIRMware to
SOFTware, then they need to complete the task and call it DORKware,
named after themselves.

This whole thread and gotten truly bizarre.

Dick Johnson
Penguin : Linux version 2.6.11 on an i686 machine (5537.79 BogoMips).
 Notice : All mail here is now cached for review by Dictator Bush.
                 98.36% of all statistics are fiction.

Reply to: