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Re: Fedora Freedom and linux-libre



Les Mikesell wrote:
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 *      Derived from proprietary unpublished source code,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.

Well ordinary humans don't post 20 times to fedora-devel arguing about kernel drivers either--but you have. You can't just cop out and plead ignorance now. How lame of you.

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,

Well, if that tar file is distributed as a GPL file, then everything in it would be GPL, no?

or if the files represented within an iso image are separate things.

If the entire ISO is distributed as GPL, it wouldn't be separate would it?

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.

But they are being *shipped together* in a package whose license says: GPLv2.

$ rpm -qp --queryformat "%{LICENSE}\n" kernel-2.6.26-0.67.rc6.git1.fc10.src.rpm
GPLv2

So RedHat is claiming they are shipping a GPLv2 kernel, when they clearly aren't (they are also doing it knowingly). Note, there are packages that have a mix of licenses, and this gets clearly pointed out in the LICENSE tag.

If RedHat has the source to this driver, I believe they are obligated to turn it over to anyone they have distributed a kernel to--they shouldn't be able to add proprietary bits to the Linux kernel and keep the code to themselves. Same is true for broadcom.

So you may be convinced that it is a separate thing (though you are really really really stretching things, when both tg3.c and tg3.o have everything combined), but by calling the whole thing GPL, it would encompass that firmware as well. They are not saying "GPLv2 and Proprietary firmware that is merely aggregated into the same .o"....

-Jeff


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