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Re: Kernel Firmware issue: are GPLed sourceless firmwares legal to distribute ?

On Thu, Oct 05, 2006 at 07:09:53AM -0700, Steve Langasek wrote:
> On Wed, Oct 04, 2006 at 10:28:20AM +0200, Sven Luther wrote:
> > There is some claims that some of those blobs represent just register dumps,
> This is a strawman, and Sven knows this as I have told him quite plainly
> that this is not my claim.

Where did i say it was your claim ? And what exactly do you claim, your
position on this, or at least the way you communicated your position has been
changing all over, which makes reaching a consensus with you as was the
intention of the DPL quite damn hard.

> > So, the RMs are making claims that those sourceless GPLed drivers don't
> > cause any kind of distribution problem,
> This is a red herring.  The *relevant* claim I have made is that it is
> inappropriate to use our GR mechanism to attempt to *decide* whether GPLed
> drivers cause a distribution problem.  The release team, the ftp team, and I
> suspect even most of the kernel team have no interest in a GR that
> authorizes any distribution of software which it at the same time asserts is
> illegal.

Please read the new wording of the proposal on :


It should take care of all problems regarding your fears, but then, i guess
nobody cares about my proposals, because they come from me, right ? 

> It is not reasonable for the project to vote on questions of legality, nor
> is it appropriate to rely on debian-legal for questions of legality.  If the
> relevant delegates/maintainers have questions about the legality of
> distributing a particular piece of software, they should consult a lawyer.

Yeah, but it is ok for you to say we won't distribute illegal to distribute
firmwares, while at the same time distributing firmware illegaly. As long as
we don't say it, everything is fine, right ?

> Sven is incongruously insisting both that these firmware blobs must be
> included in etch, *and* that they're illegal to distribute.  This is

No, i believe in being honest and saying things like they are. But this is
clearly a position which is not welcome in debian these days, and which needs
even to be shuted down by aggresive bashing.

> nonsense; trying to convince the release team and the ftp team that these
> are illegal to distribute is contrary to his stated goal of including
> maximum hardware support in etch.  He can't have it both ways, because no GR
> can compel the release team or the ftp team to knowingly break the law.

Why do you want a GR then, why did you lose everyone's time by starting this
huge threads, while the kernel team was working on a good and consensual
proposal, which you didn't want to participate in, and hurried your own
proposal out the door, with the result we know ? 

> > while i strongly believe that the GPL clause saying that all the
> > distribution rights under the GPL are lost if you cannot abide by all
> > points, including the requirement for sources.
> I have previously given my own understanding of why it is not a problem for
> us to distribute GPLed firmware blobs pending license clarifications, but I
> don't see any indication that Sven is interested in understanding that POV,
> only in tilting at strawmen; so I don't intend to lose any more time on
> discussing this point beyond this single clarification email.

Yeah, because an opponent doesn't agree with you, you don't discuss his
argument, but try to bring him down by dirty methods and FUD. I wonder if you
are in connivance with Frans's new bashing against me, or if that was just


Sven Luther

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