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Re: qlogic firmware license

On Fri, 08 Jul 2005 01:59:25 +0200, Francesco Poli wrote:

> On Thu, 07 Jul 2005 15:13:47 -0400 Andres Salomon wrote:
>> Hi,
>> QLogic just emailed me the wording of their new license for qla2xxx
>> firmware.
> Good, thanks for dealing with this issue!  :)
>> Please let me know if anyone sees problems with this.
>> Copyright (C)  2003 â??2005 QLogic Corporation [QLA2x00]
>> This program includes a device driver for Linux 2.6.x that is
>> distributed with QLogic hardware specific firmware binary file.  You
>> may modify and redistribute the device driver code under the GNU
>> Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation (version 2
>> or a later version) and/or under the following terms, as applicable:
> [conditions picked from a 3-clause BSD license follow, but with a
> modified disclaimer]
> First of all, it's the "GNU General Public License", otherwise they're
> referring to a non-existent license...  ;-)

Yea, someone else caught that as well; I emailed them about it.

> Then a question: this looks like dual licensing the work under
> GPLv2 / 3-clause-BSD.
> Why not just a 3-clause BSD license?
> It's simple, DFGS-free and GPL-compatible. Adding an optional GPL seems
> to be a no-op...

It still won't be DFSG-free, since the source code is not available.  I
suspect they went with a modified 3-clause BSD because their lawyers
wanted additional protection.

The reason for the dual licensing is because they have OEMs that would
need to re-qualify (that may be the incorrect wording, I forget what they
said, and it was a phone conversation so it's not in an inbox anywhere)
the driver if the license changes.  That's a pain for everyone involved,
and would take several months.  So, by dual-licensing, the OEMs can
continue using the driver and firmware under the GPL (invalid or not),
while we (Debian) can choose to use it under a BSD-alike license.

> Finally, what are we talking about?  ;-) Is this the license for the
> driver?
> Or rather for the firmware?
> Or for both?

I'm hoping for both.  I've asked them to change it to explicitly mention
that the license refers to the firmware as well.

> It's not clear to me, I apologize: first they say "program = driver +
> firmware", then they seemingly give permissions for the driver only.
> Where are the permissions granted for the firmware?

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