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Re: Fedora Freedom and linux-libre

On Jun 18, 2008, Les Mikesell <lesmikesell gmail com> wrote:

> Alexandre Oliva wrote:
>>> The question is, does taking some code and an opaque binary blob and
>>> sticking them in the same file make a 'work as a whole' or is it
>>> identifiable sections of code and separate data that are not derived
>>> from the Program?

>> This only matters if you distribute them as separate works.  When you
>> distribute them as a whole, you don't get the exception.

> Separate sections.


  this License, and its terms, do not apply to those sections *when*
  you distribute them as *separate* works.  But *when* you distribute
  the same sections as *part* of a *whole* which is a work based on
  the Program, the distribution of the *whole* *must* be on the terms
  of this License (emphasis mine)

You can't just disregard the parts you don't like.

>> Read again, very carefully, the sentence you quoted.  Especially the
>> "when you distribute them as separate works" part.

> Note that it doesn't say anything about files there.

Exactly.  It talks about distributing them as separate works (not as
separate sections, as you seem to read it), or as a whole work.

Say, is the microcode_ctl package a copyrightable work?

How about linux-2.6.25.tar.bz2?

How about bzImage?

>>> Would the code continue to work if you replace those bits with
>>> something else that would work in the hardware it loads?

>> Whether it works or not is not relevant to tell whether it's derived.

> How else could you tell if the parts are related or not, unless you
> were part of the creative process.

It's trivial to tell there was a creative process in that expression,
and that's enough to establish copyrightability.

>>> But why not stick to the CPU microcode example?

>> Because you got the facts wrong.  It's not distributed even close to
>> the kernel.

> Does 'close' have something to do with whether it is a separate
> section or not?  Isn't it in the same vmlinuz imaage somewhere?

No.  You got your facts completely wrong.  The CPU microcode you're
talking about is in the package microcode_ctl.  It's a separate rpm.
Totally unrelated with the kernel rpm.

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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