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broadcom proposed firmware licence, please comment ...

Hello all, 

It seems our crusade to solve the dubious licencing of firmware inside the
linux kernel source is starting to show is fruits. After the QLogic feedback 
Andres Salomon reported in a previous mail, it is now Broadcom which is coming
back to us with a licence proposal.

Keep in mind that this was done under the assumption that a firmware embedded
in the main kernel is an aggregate work (see mailing list archive for details,
or discuss in a separate thread, CCing me if possible). This means that
altough the firmware in itself remains non-free as far as the DFSG is
concerned, it at least makes the whole file distributible again, which it was
not while the firmware was distributed source-less under the GPL.

The text of the new licence proposal is as follows :

> +/* xxx.h: Broadcom tg3 network driver.
> + *
> + * Copyright (c) 2004, 2005 Broadcom Corporation
> + *
> + * 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, except as noted below.
> + *
> + * This file contains firmware data derived from proprietary unpublished
> + * source code, Copyright (c) 2004, 2005 Broadcom Corporation.
> + *
> + * Permission is hereby granted for the distribution of this firmware data
> + * in hexadecimal or equivalent format, provided this copyright notice is
> + * accompanying it.
> + */

I would have liked a clear identification of the firmware blob, but i guess
that to anyone familiar with C, it is immediately evident what is the firmware
blob and what is normal code.

So, before i reply to them, i would like to have feedback from debian-legal,
and we can then move ahead and upload this driver to the non-free part of our
archive, including a working .udeb.

Thanks in advance,


Sven Luther

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