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Re: The bigger issue is badly licensed blobs (was Re: Firmware poll

Nathanael Nerode wrote:

>> On Wed, 30.08.2006 at 09:27:21 +0200, Marco d'Itri <md@Linux.IT> wrote:
>>> On Aug 30, Nathanael Nerode <neroden@fastmail.fm> wrote:
>>>> Debian must decide whether it wants to ship BLOBs with licensing which
>>>> technically does not permit redistribution.  At least 53 blobs have
>>>> this
>>>> problem.  Many of them are licensed under the GPL, but without source
>>>> code
>>>> provided.  Since the GPL only grants permission to distribute if you
>>>> provide source code, the GPL grants no permission to distribute in
>>>> these cases.
>>> Many people disagree with this interpretation.
> Marco trolled again.  FYI, no serious person disagrees with this
> interpretation.

I don't think that's really the kind of language to use if you want to
be constructive, and I'm pretty confident that you're well aware that it
is actually not the case.

> >From the GPL:
> 3. You may copy and distribute the Program (or a work based on it, 
> under Section 2) in object code or executable form under the terms of
> Sections 1 and 2 above provided that you also do one of the following:
>    a) Accompany it with the complete corresponding machine-readable
>     source code, which must be distributed under the terms of Sections
>     1 and 2 above on a medium customarily used for software interchange; or,
> -- Debian is not doing this for the BLOBs
This being the clause that matters, I've snipped the other two.

There are two points of possible disagreement that I am aware of - both
centring on the definition of "source code".

First is "preferred by whom?", and the second is "what if a more
preferred form doesn't exist?" (and the associated "how do we know?" etc.)

We've had this discussion on this list before, and I don't recall any
consensus at the end of it.

As a result, I'd appreciate it if you would avoid trying to brush
disagreement under the carpet -- and if you must, please choose a
different brush, as the ad-hominem one only serves to lower the tone.



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