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Re: Fedora Freedom and linux-libre

David Woodhouse wrote:
On Sun, 2008-06-15 at 20:12 -0300, jeff wrote:
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?

It is quite clearly a violation of the GPL.

Feel free to submit a patch to shift the firmware out of that file and
fix the driver to use request_firmware() for it. I'm collecting such
patches in the git tree I referred to earlier.

Well, I did do a patched kernel with the GPL violations removed--but my goal wasn't to make it so people could then re-add non-free software, so I don't think the request_firmware() path is the one I'd take. Alexandre Oliva is now maintaining this free software branch of the linux kernel (as you know) as he's far more competent at this than me...


The "GPLing" of the driver (MODULE_LICENSE("GPL")) and the inclusion of a chunk of non-free code occurred in commit [1] 2d8a9d3fd19147c808aa39ddc69a743d1c90f199.

The commit shows David S. Miller (davem redhat com) and Jeff Garzik (jgarzik mandrakesoft com) as authors. If they have ever had it, couldn't they be sued for the source code like other companies that are violating the GPL? I suppose it would be RedHat itself that is liable, not them individually since presumably David Miller was working on RH time. But he also has commits with huge non-free chunks, such as b7fea8b8bd72166942e8b589e0e948af4aff3a37 coming from "davemloft.net" (others from "ninka.net"), so perhaps he would be individually responsible too.

I haven't thought through the implications of it yet, but lines in the firmware itself get occassionally modified--it wasn't just a one time dump, so it appears the source is there somewhere and someone is hacking away at it. Perhaps Broadcom themselves (they added their copyright three years later, in b8d263683391ab74f5794657a4b4edc6d7632937) have to give over the source code if Miller and/or Garzik don't have it.

Has RedHat ever had the source code to the driver?


[1] git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/tglx/history.git

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