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Re: Fedora Freedom and linux-libre

On Jun  9, 2008, Alan Cox <alan redhat com> wrote:

> On Mon, Jun 09, 2008 at 08:29:28AM +0100, David Woodhouse wrote:
>> I agree with you that that seems to be the only possible interpretation
>> for firmware blobs. And when we take them and include them in the
>> bzImage and distribute that, the only possible interpretation is that
>> they are 'part of a whole which is a work based on the Program'.

> Disagree.

Please elaborate.  Do you disagree he agrees with you? :-)  Do you see
other interpretations?  Do you disagree we take them and include them
in the bzImage and distribute that (or any of these individually)?  Do
you disagree it's part of a whole?  Do you disagree this whole it is
part of is a work based on the Program?

>> But it's extremely hard to argue that combining non-GPL'd firmware into
>> the kernel image is 'mere aggregation on a volume of a storage or
>> distribution medium'.

> Disagree.

Three bytes: tg3

Same source file, even.  Mere aggregation?  Where can I get the
separate works, then?

> learn about the actual legal caselaw in the case things like books,

Since you appear to have done your homework, could you please help me
find any case in which a book was published containing an article
whose authors wrote something like 'I will only permit the publication
of this article if all the articles in the book, and the whole of the
book, are under a copyleft license', the book was published with of
non-copyleft material, and the author of the article sued for
copyright infringement?

> and also on the boundaries of contract created by copyright.

?!?!?  Copyright does not create contracts.  Copyright creates
restrictions that a copyright holder may selectively enforce on third
parties.  Licenses relieve third parties from such restrictions.
Contracts often include provisions for licensing, but a mere grant of
permissions is not a contract because there's no reciprocation, no
mutual obligations.

The GPL, for example, is a mere grant of permissions.  It does not
require or prohibit anything, it just grants bounded permissions.
Whatever is forbidden even in the presence of the GPL is forbidden
because the law forbids such actions without a license that permits
them, not because the GPL prohibits them.

Example: a law is passed that prohibits people from walking on their
feet.  The king grants permission for you to walk on a single foot.
You still can't walk on both feet, but that's not because the grant of
permissions forbids you from walking normally, it's because the law
does.  The permission you got just doesn't go as far as granting you
permission to walk that way.

On Jun  9, 2008, Alan Cox <alan redhat com> wrote:

> On Mon, Jun 09, 2008 at 08:40:33AM +0100, David Woodhouse wrote:
>> Are you suggesting that the bzImage we ship is not derived from the
>> kernel source? Or that to distribute it, you don't need the permission
>> which is granted by the GPL?

> Nothing of the sort. I'm suggesting conventional interpretations of copyright
> law might apply. The ones the lawyers seem to consider conventional

IIRC it says that modifying, distributing (including publishing) a
work requires permission from the copyright holder, and, in the
absence of such a permission, such acts are forbidden by law.  Do you
even have a case here?

Alexandre Oliva         http://www.lsd.ic.unicamp.br/~oliva/
Free Software Evangelist  oliva {lsd ic unicamp br, gnu.org}
FSFLA Board Member       ¡Sé Libre! => http://www.fsfla.org/
Red Hat Compiler Engineer   aoliva {redhat com, gcc.gnu.org}

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