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

This one time, at band camp, Don Armstrong said:
> On Wed, 18 Oct 2006, Anthony Towns wrote:
> > On Tue, Oct 17, 2006 at 03:49:25PM -0400, Nathanael Nerode wrote:
> > > The answer to the question in the subject is simple: NO.
> > 
> > Thankyou for your opinion. I note you seemed to neglect to mention
> > that you're not a lawyer.
> That should be abundantly apparent to anyone who has been paying
> attention. Regardless, it doesn't dismiss the crux of the argument:
> baring competent legal advice to the contrary,[1] distributing
> sourceless GPLed works is not clear of legal liability. Doing
> otherwise may put ourselves and our mirror operators in peril.

I think the argument here revolves around whether the GPL is a contract
to our users, or a license from the copyright holders.  If it is a
license from the copyright holders, than the only ones who can sue
Debian for distribution of sourceless GPL'ed works are, er, the people
who originally gave out those works in that form.  I understand there is
some contention around whether this claim is accurate (and I claim no
deep understanding of international copyright and contract law to make a
claim for either side), but I think that is the fairly simple counter
|   ,''`.                                            Stephen Gran |
|  : :' :                                        sgran@debian.org |
|  `. `'                        Debian user, admin, and developer |
|    `-                                     http://www.debian.org |

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