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Old 06-16-2008, 04:29 AM
"Horst H. von Brand"
 
Default Fedora Freedom and linux-libre

Les Mikesell <lesmikesell@gmail.com> wrote:
> David Woodhouse wrote:
> >>
> > No, I think you've completely missed the point.

> The point is whether a derivative work exists, which won't depend on
> how the parts get to their end locations. If it is a derivative when
> the parts are aggregated for delivery it will be just as much a
> derivative if the parts are delivered separately.

Right. And it is derivative if one piece was built from the other piece,
not just if they happen to work together or in a similar way. There is a
complex test applied by the courts to see if something is a copy or not.

What is to be understood by "mere aggregation" could very well be open to
question, sure. But if you start questioning everything /before/ it makes
any real difference, please refrain from computer programming at all:
Unless all you write is "Hello, world!" you are sure to infringe on
hundreds of patents. They might not be valid, but unless some court says
so, they stay in force.
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Old 06-16-2008, 04:44 AM
Les Mikesell
 
Default Fedora Freedom and linux-libre

jeff wrote:




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.


My point is that the details of the aggregation are irrelevant and the
format of the storage doesn't matter. The fact that the firmware
loader can find the correct chunk of data to load for each separate
device shows that the storage maintains the separation.


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?


It's the other way around. Putting things in the same container doesn't
change the copyright of the separate parts. If anything is wrong, it
is the label of the container.



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?


Likewise.

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}
"
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.


Perhaps a valid issue - and perhaps mistakenly left over from when the
broadcom portion was tagged as GPL.


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"....


That would be a reasonable change. How is it done in drivers where the
firmware has always been known to be non-GPL but redistributable? tg3
might be a special case due to its copyright change.


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Old 06-16-2008, 04:49 AM
"Horst H. von Brand"
 
Default Fedora Freedom and linux-libre

Les Mikesell <lesmikesell@gmail.com> wrote:

[...]

> But, I think you are the one missing the point at least from the
> perspective of the FSF or anyone likely to take legal action on behalf
> of the GPL.

Nobody can initiate legal action "on behalf of the GPL", only the kernel
copyright holders could initiate such action here. And that would be
ROTFLed out of court, as /they themselves/ created the kernel with the
express, and widely documented, intention for it to be distributed widely.

> They claim that it doesn't matter if the components are
> distributed separately or not. For example, you can't modify a GPL'd
> component so that it needs a library under different terms even if the
> parts are never distributed together.

Sure you can. In the heyday of GNU software it was /only/ run on propietary
systems, and all that software was routinely modified with the express
purpose of running on newer/changed versions of propietary systems (which
were the only ones available, remember).

> > Thus, it is not the intent of the GPL to claim rights or contest
> > your rights to work written entirely by you; rather, the intent is to
> > exercise the right to control the distribution of derivative or
> > collective works based on the Program.

> Whether it is a derivative or 'work as a whole' depends on the
> relationship of the parts, not temporary physical proximity.

Please state which laws or court decisions lead you to this conclusion, and
exactly what "relationship" has to be involved here. This is /not/ about
what you (or I) would like (or consider logical), given our computer (and
other) background and preferences. Remember that this is an area of law
originally designed for a completely different purpose (literary works and
such, distributed as printed copies) pressed into service for something
totally alien. As such, only someone really trained in this mess (i.e., a
lawyer specializing in this area, hired for the purpose of looking into
this) can give you somewhat credible guidance.

> If the
> compiler keeps the parts separate so the downloading code can identify
> them to download the correct separate data to the correct separate
> device they are rather clearly separate things aggregated temporarily
> within a file. This might be more obvious if it were easier for a
> human to identify the parts, but that's a mechanical detail. The
> question of whether the relationship of the runtime code makes it a
> derived work might still remain, but it is unrelated to the bits of
> code and data having been aggregated as permitted.
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Old 06-16-2008, 05:03 AM
jeff
 
Default Fedora Freedom and linux-libre

Les Mikesell wrote:

jeff wrote:



To me it appears quite clear that Broadcom is distributing a GPL'd
file, and thus has to turn over the source code.


Now you may argue this exempts them from this (but it probably still
doesn't):


* 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.



But what about in versions distributed for years where that was not
included? That text above is recent addition. To my surprise when I went
to download the driver on their page I found I had an old
~/devel/broadcom directory with a file linux-7.3.5.zip containing
files timestamped from 2004 (the above copyright was added in 2005).


Here, the bcm5700-7.3.5-1.src.rpm file was tagged "GPL".



I'd take that to mean that they didn't understand the GPL when they
originally used it


Pffft. "Oh, sorry, we didn't know what the license meant, we're just a billion
dollar company with 100 lawyers". That doesn't mean they can suddenly un-GPL
something.


and corrected the situation by removing it. So what
you have is a non-gpl'd binary file with permission to redistribute -
which is far from unique.


And you're missing the other point: THEY ARE STILL DOING IT TODAY, as I
mentioned earlier. Go to their website, it says it's GPL.


As a side note, it was added by RedHat to the main kernel and RedHat is still
shipping it under the GPL too.


-Jeff

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Old 06-16-2008, 05:05 AM
jeff
 
Default Fedora Freedom and linux-libre

Les Mikesell wrote:

jeff wrote:
That would be a reasonable change. How is it done in drivers where the
firmware has always been known to be non-GPL but redistributable? tg3
might be a special case due to its copyright change.


The firmware hasn't always been known to be non-GPL. It was distributed for
years under the GPL, so it *is* GPL, but they are violating the GPL by not
shipping the source code.


Have you even looked at tg3.c or it's history?

-Jeff

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Old 06-16-2008, 05:21 AM
"Horst H. von Brand"
 
Default Fedora Freedom and linux-libre

jeff <moe@blagblagblag.org> wrote:
> Les Mikesell wrote:
> > jeff wrote:
> > That would be a reasonable change. How is it done in drivers where
> > the firmware has always been known to be non-GPL but
> > redistributable? tg3 might be a special case due to its copyright
> > change.

> The firmware hasn't always been known to be non-GPL. It was
> distributed for years under the GPL, so it *is* GPL, but they are
> violating the GPL by not shipping the source code.

So go sue them for not giving you the source.

Most probably they will just tell you that it was *never* placed under GPL,
that this "GPL distribution" was just a mistake (now fixed).

> Have you even looked at tg3.c or it's history?

Yes, no.
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Old 06-16-2008, 05:34 AM
jeff
 
Default Fedora Freedom and linux-libre

Hans de Goede wrote:
If I get Alex correctly he is saying that, to his goal, which is 100%
Free software everywhere (including in his toothbrush), this is
counterproductive, as it may make it easier to distribute binary
firmware along with the kernel, as it now could be put in a seperate
tarbal removing GPL worries etc.


As much as I admire Alex's goal's I'm very glad with the current
pragmatic approach Fedora has taken with regards to firmware.


And when combining both these perspectives, David, you patch is
excellent and I'm very gratefull for all the work you've been doing on it.


If the firmware truely gets put in a different tarbal (and thus
eventually in a different srpm), then it will be feasible to do a no
blobs included Fedora spin like gnewsense, which would be great.


If you have to do a *SEPARATE* spin to do a free CD, why does the Fedora
project spew crap like this everywhere:


"We try to always do the right thing, and provide only free and open source
software." [1]

It's simply not true and the author of that (Rahul Sundaram I think--he writes
it everywhere else too), *MUST* know that isn't true. It's one thing if the
non-free software that fedora shipped was considered a bug that just hasn't
been eradicated but shipping non-free software is fedora *policy*.[1]


It's one thing to include some firmware, call a program GPL when it's not, ship
non-free binaries etc., but at least don't lie about it on all your literature.
Sheez.


-Jeff

[1] http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Overview
[2] http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/SIGs/FirmWare geez, you even have a special
interest group in complete conflict with your supposed mission


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Old 06-16-2008, 05:58 AM
Hans de Goede
 
Default Fedora Freedom and linux-libre

jeff wrote:

Hans de Goede wrote:
If I get Alex correctly he is saying that, to his goal, which is 100%
Free software everywhere (including in his toothbrush), this is
counterproductive, as it may make it easier to distribute binary
firmware along with the kernel, as it now could be put in a seperate
tarbal removing GPL worries etc.


As much as I admire Alex's goal's I'm very glad with the current
pragmatic approach Fedora has taken with regards to firmware.


And when combining both these perspectives, David, you patch is
excellent and I'm very gratefull for all the work you've been doing on
it.


If the firmware truely gets put in a different tarbal (and thus
eventually in a different srpm), then it will be feasible to do a no
blobs included Fedora spin like gnewsense, which would be great.


If you have to do a *SEPARATE* spin to do a free CD, why does the Fedora
project spew crap like this everywhere:


"We try to always do the right thing, and provide only free and open source
software." [1]

It's simply not true and the author of that (Rahul Sundaram I think--he
writes it everywhere else too), *MUST* know that isn't true. It's one
thing if the non-free software that fedora shipped was considered a bug
that just hasn't been eradicated but shipping non-free software is
fedora *policy*.[1]


It's one thing to include some firmware, call a program GPL when it's
not, ship non-free binaries etc., but at least don't lie about it on all
your literature. Sheez.


It depends on your definition of software, according to Fedora's definitions
firmware is not software it is content. I know this is a word game, but think
about it, what is the definition of software?


Are the bits included in a serial eeprom, which on powerup get read by an fpga,
to make that fpga become a specific bit of hardware soft or hardware, what
about the vhdl / verilog sources from which those bits were generated. What
about a cpld, is that a processor running software or is it hardware? But it is
coded in the same verilog / vhdl, which both are very much programming
language-ish.


What about a pcb, nowaday its fully automatic generated (compiled as you which)
from instructions which take the form of a bunch of bits.


Really you everything must be free people need to:
1) get a couple of years experience in electronics engineering and start to
realize how deep down programmable hardware is going these days. Most
hardware won't do anything without atleast having put the proper bits in a
cpld somewhere.

2) Then stop making this weird difference between firmware which is in a
rom shipped with the device, and firmware which is on a cd shipped with the
device, what if the rom is on a socket and can be removed without soldering?

3) When you stop making the weird difference between different firmware
distribution mechanisms, either realise that firmware is part of the
hardware, or keep calling firmware software and demand that it is _all_
free, so also remove any drivers for hardware where the firmware is shipped
with the hardware instead of with the OS, such as any motherboards which
come with a non free BIOS, any CPU's which use microcode, etc. Good luck
with that.

Really, arguing that Fedora's stance is inconsistent, while in reality yours is
doesn't gain you much respect. Either:


1) all firmware is software and must be free in which case support for evil
hardware which comes with the firmware embedded must be removed from linux-libre!


2) all firmware is considered part of the hardware, independend of the
distribution mechanism of that firmware (the Fedora pov).


Regards,

Hans

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Old 06-16-2008, 06:01 AM
Les Mikesell
 
Default Fedora Freedom and linux-libre

Horst H. von Brand wrote:



They claim that it doesn't matter if the components are
distributed separately or not. For example, you can't modify a GPL'd
component so that it needs a library under different terms even if the
parts are never distributed together.


Sure you can. In the heyday of GNU software it was /only/ run on propietary
systems, and all that software was routinely modified with the express
purpose of running on newer/changed versions of propietary systems (which
were the only ones available, remember).


There's a special exception for the case of standard system software
that doesn't apply in other situations - or if they are distributed
together.



Whether it is a derivative or 'work as a whole' depends on the
relationship of the parts, not temporary physical proximity.


Please state which laws or court decisions lead you to this conclusion, and
exactly what "relationship" has to be involved here.


I'm not aware of any court ruling. It is the conclusion I drew from the
FSF legal position regarding RIPEM that lead to the development of the
generally useless fgmp library. It was long enough ago that google
doesn't find many good references, but this one at least describes it:


http://www.plex86.org/linux/Beyond-Compare--software-equivalent-in-linux-3686.html

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Old 06-16-2008, 06:07 AM
Les Mikesell
 
Default Fedora Freedom and linux-libre

jeff wrote:

Les Mikesell wrote:

jeff wrote:
That would be a reasonable change. How is it done in drivers where
the firmware has always been known to be non-GPL but
redistributable? tg3 might be a special case due to its copyright
change.


The firmware hasn't always been known to be non-GPL. It was distributed
for years under the GPL, so it *is* GPL, but they are violating the GPL
by not shipping the source code.


Have you even looked at tg3.c or it's history?



Just a quick google to find the discussion here:
http://wiki.debian.org/KernelFirmwareLicensing with its note that the
corrected license was committed here:

http://kernel.org/git/?p=linux/kernel/git/torvalds/linux-2.6.git;a=commitdiff;h=49cabf49abd7676d026a61baabf 5aae9337a82be;hp=9beb1d587f690d5b2f9087f8f10c0ff9f 6b66886

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