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Re: more kernel firmware stuff

On 5/25/05, Andres Salomon <dilinger@athenacr.com> wrote:
> And so on.  QLogic wants to have a conference call w/ me and their legal
> dept, as they have questions on BSD vs GPL licensing.  I think it would be
> good to have someone from d-l on the call as well.  Any volunteers?  I'd
> like to get someone knowledgeable about GPL and BSD licensing issues,
> binary firmware images, and w/ some form of legal background.

I'm probably not the person you want, since my opinions don't exactly
fit the debian-legal mainstream, and IANAL.  But FWIW, I think you
would do well to elaborate on why the GPL is not the right license for
firmware blobs and to suggest that text to this effect be added to the
header of the file containing the firmware blob:

This file contains two kinds of content:  1) a firmware image for an
embedded processor on QLogic controllers, and 2) instructions for
packaging this image within a driver for the Linux kernel and
delivering it to the embedded processor.  The latter forms part of the
Linux kernel and is offered under the same terms as the rest of the
Linux kernel, i. e., version 2 (only) of the GNU General Public
License.  The firmware image itself is not part of the Linux kernel;
it is a separately copyrighted work, embedded within the driver solely
for reasons of engineering practicality.  License of copyright in the
firmware image is offered under the following terms:  <Whatever>

As I read the GPL and the applicable law, this is perfectly clean
(IANAL, TINLA); and if you want citations to case law, Nimmer on
Copyright, and all that jazz, just ask.

- Michael

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