Re: non-free firmware in kernel modules, aggregation and unclear copyright notice.
On Fri, Apr 15, 2005 at 10:01:07AM -0700, Michael K. Edwards wrote:
For what it's worth, here's how I would currently answer the questions
you posed there. Of course, I might later decide that I'd missed some
important point, but what the hey...
] 1) The (L)GPL is legally an offer of contract, right?
No. However, it may be interpreted as containing an offer or offers
The GPL and LGPL are more than contracts. For example, they also include
a warranty disclaimer, which is likely to be valid under the same legal
principles as hold for an EULA. For example, distributing software
under the GPL or LGPL could be interpreted as estoppel in certain kinds
] 2) Is the (L)GPL violated if the tools needed to reproduce object
] code from source code are not merely non-free but unobtainable?
Possibly yes, possibly no. Either is possible, depending on the specifics
of the case.
] 3) Can a vendor of non-free software that depends on LGPL libraries
] require users to use particular compiled versions of those libraries?
Again, this depends on the specifics of the case. For example,
distribution of code which only works with a specific version of the
LGPL might be seen as a requirement. However, this isn't the sort of
requirement that's likely to enforced by court, should the vendor take
a user to court for using some other version of the library.