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Re: tg3 firmware - was (Fw: [CASE#221365]: Closed - need firmware files)

On Thu, 9 Apr 2009 22:34:15 +0000
"brian m. carlson" <sandals@crustytoothpaste.ath.cx> wrote:

> * The firmware actually has a separate license that reads as follows:
>     * Firmware is:
>     *	Derived from proprietary unpublished source code,

OK, I wasn't aware of that. With the clear statement that source code
was involved in the derivation of the firmware, I'd agree that the
effect of the GR is that this firmware needs source code to be in main.

>     *	Copyright (C) 2000-2003 Broadcom Corporation.
>     *
>     *	Permission is hereby granted for the distribution of this firmware
>     *	data in hexadecimal or equivalent format, provided this copyright
>     *	notice is accompanying it.
>    This license does not allow for modification.  Therefore, Debian can
>    legally distribute the firmware, but only in non-free.  I have no
>    objection to Debian distributing this firmware in non-free;
>    nevertheless, as I stated in my original post, whether Debian
>    distributes this firmware is mostly irrelevant with regard to having a
>    functioning tg3 driver.
> I don't know about you, but I'd much prefer to modify any sort of
> program, firmware or not, using C or assembly rather than editing the
> binary directly.  I suspect that this is the case for any reasonable
> programmer. 

I still hanker after the days of tweaking things in the assembly or
hacking around in a compiled binary with a hex editor. As long as
source code exists, the effort required becomes a pointless diversion
but there remain instances where binary constructs are not compiled,
they are created by test and experimentation according to the design
(and more often the errata) of a particular piece of hardware using
electrical equipment or hardware tools, not text editors. As such, not
all firmware can be expected to have any source code. In this case, as
we have a declaration that source code was involved, that doesn't apply


Neil Williams

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