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Re: broadcom proposed firmware licence, please comment ...

On Wed, May 25, 2005 at 12:59:27PM -0700, Michael K. Edwards wrote:
> Under US law as I understand it (IANAL), the text in my follow-up to
> Andres's QLogic thread is cleaner.  I would not recommend pretending
> that the embedded firmware image is exclusively "data"; it is a
> separately copyrighted work whose bytes are treated as data by the
> driver.  The driver is part of the "literary or artistic work" known
> as Linux kernel, the firmware image is not.

Thanks for the reply, I paste here a modified versin of your proposal :

 This file contains two kinds of content:  1) a firmware image for an
 embedded processor on broadcom 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>

It would then follow that you need to specify an appropriate licence for
distribution of the non-free firmware blob, which was ok i believe in the
original proposal :

 Permission is hereby granted for the distribution of this firmware data
 in hexadecimal or equivalent format, provided this copyright notice is
 accompanying it.

So, is the added verbosity really needed ? From who does it cover us ? Does it
really cover us or broadcom/qlogic/whoever from some random kernel developer
deciding he doesn't agree with the above interpretation and deciding to go
sue-happy ?


Sven Luther

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