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Re: Fedora Freedom and linux-libre



jeff wrote:
Les Mikesell wrote:
Whatever mechanical translations you can do to something will not change its copyright status. If you make a tar file containing 2 different copyrighted works, they are still 2 separate works, but there is nothing magic about tar's format that relates to this concept.

But what is the copyright status of drivers/net/tg3.c? What lines are GPL (if they are) and which lines are not GPL? I don't mean this as a theoretical exercise, I mean this *literally*. If you read tg3.c it *ONLY* says:

/*
 * tg3.c: Broadcom Tigon3 ethernet driver.
 *
 * Copyright (C) 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 David S. Miller (davem redhat com)
 * Copyright (C) 2001, 2002, 2003 Jeff Garzik (jgarzik pobox com)
 * Copyright (C) 2004 Sun Microsystems Inc.
 * Copyright (C) 2005-2007 Broadcom Corporation.
 *
 * Firmware is:
 *      Derived from proprietary unpublished source code,
 *      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.
 */


It never mentions GPL *EXCEPT* here:

MODULE_AUTHOR("David S. Miller (davem redhat com) and Jeff Garzik (jgarzik pobox com)");
MODULE_DESCRIPTION("Broadcom Tigon3 ethernet driver");
MODULE_LICENSE("GPL");


But tg3.o as distributed by RedHat/Fedora when it's compiled is *NOT* a GPL .o, it has the proprietary data in it. It isn't separate at all (like some firmware, say intel wireless, which is a completely separate file).

I look at tg3.c and I can't tell where this "aggregation" begins and ends. It's the *SAME FILE*. Can you clearly say which line numbers are GPL and which line numbers are not GPL?

I don't know much about kernel drivers and I don't think ordinary humans are expected to. I'd approach the question more mechanically, on the same order as trying to establish if the elements within a tar file are separate things, or if the files represented within an iso image are separate things. If the compiler stores in a form that the loader can identify and download to the correct device, I'd be convinced that it is a separate thing regardless of any intermediate mechanical transformations or representations.

--
  Les Mikesell
   lesmikesell gmail com



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