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Re: Proposal - Defer discussion about SC and firmware until after the Etch release

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Sven Luther wrote:
> On Mon, Sep 18, 2006 at 10:09:14AM -0400, Nathanael Nerode wrote:
>> I think you're wrong here, unless you're using an unusual definition
>> of "distributable".  The usual definition used by debian-legal is "We have
>> explicit legal permission to distribute it."  If you were right, we wouldn't 
>> have 46 undistributable files in Debian's Linux kernel packages today.
>> Should Debian release with those files (again)?  This is a very, very
>> important question.  Currently Debian is on track to release with 46
>> undistributable files.
> Indeed, but then, there are few issues to consider about this :
Absolutely, these are things which should be considered.

>   - in some cases, like the acenic driver, the original copyright hholder as
>     well as the current copyright information is lost forever in some box
>     during one of the mergers. Likelihood of someone actually showing up and
>     saying this code belongs to them, and they can clarify the licencing, or
>     sue us, is very very small.
Yep.  This is frankly the situation with a lot of "abandonware".
I'd love to distribute "Executive Suite", but who knows what happened to
Grey Flannel Fun?

Should Debian distribute abandonware?  If so, which abandonware?  Should
the Linux kernel be held to laxer standards than everything else?

>   - in other cases, the original author is distibuting this sourceless
>     material themselves under the GPL, clearly a mistake or omission, which
>     they would be happy to fix, as the broadcom and qlogic case have shown.

Yes.  In this case, we have to actually track them down and fix it,
which is incredibly tedious.  But I agree that in this case we can
usually assume that they *will* fix it.  But how *long* do we give
them to fix it before we conclude that we really haven't gotten it
fixed and we should remove the software to be legally safe?  A month?
Five years?

> Friendly,
> Sven Luther

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