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Re: Etch timeline is unrealistic because non-free firmware is NOT being dealt with

On Sat, Aug 05, 2006 at 02:22:18AM +0200, Marco d'Itri wrote:
> On Aug 04, Goswin von Brederlow <brederlo@informatik.uni-tuebingen.de> wrote:
> > >>think not?  Prove it by proposing a GR.  More importantly, the release team
> > > I had such a plan, but no time to implement it currently.
> > How do you handle the fact that it is a license violation making the
> > thing illegal to distribute?
> I see that the lawyers of SuSE and Red Hat do not believe this to be
> true or at least do not consider it a problem, and this is enough for
> me to ignore the opinion of the debian-legal@ armchair lawyers.

This position was clear enough that broadcom and the other company holding the
qlsomething firmware copyright, changed their licencing after sa lengthy
lawyer consulting process. 

The real issue here is one of freedom and DFSG and not one of legality anyway.
Those firmware are not DFSG-free and have nothing to do in main, and this is
the real problem. We may (or not) distribute some of them in non-free, even
though they are not clearly distributible, but that is the choice of the
ftp-masters, and seeing how miboot was refused to go into non-free, because it
holded a half-sector of m68k code without a clear licencing case (not
withstanding that it is decades old, and every macos <10 had tools to create
such floppies and distribute them), i doubt it would be consistent to keep it
like that.

As for non-distributability, it is moot, since those firmware don't need to be
GPL compatibly, since they are just non-free stuff shipped inside the kernel
media. But then there may be another license violation mentioned here.


Sven Luther

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