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Old 06-09-2008, 05:59 PM
Alexandre Oliva
 
Default Fedora Freedom and linux-libre

On Jun 9, 2008, Les Mikesell <lesmikesell@gmail.com> wrote:

> Firmware that happens to be aggregated for convenient delivery and
> installation is no more a part of the GPL'd work than firmware that is
> already in your machine

That's missing the point. It's not so much about the firmware, it's
about the GPLed work that depends on it. If you can't "just take the
firmware out", and there's no way to obtain the GPL'ed
allegedly-separate work, how could the claim of 'mere aggregation'
hold any water? Aggregation of what separate works? Where are they?

> No, the GPL applies to components that actually are parts of a work as
> whole or derivatives. Firmware is something separate, just carried
> along for the ride.

No, your honor, this is not a book that I printed for sale. It's just
a bunch of pages from unrelated works that I stapled/bound together in
large quantities and offered to book retailers in exchange for pieces
of paper of a different color.

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Old 06-09-2008, 06:01 PM
Rahul Sundaram
 
Default Fedora Freedom and linux-libre

Les Mikesell wrote:

David Woodhouse wrote:



To claim that there is no _legal_ basis for such a restriction is also
incorrect. Nothing but the GPL gives you the right to distribute the
Linux kernel. If the GPL has conditions with which you fail to comply,
then you may not distribute the Linux kernel.


I'm not sure why you'd consider being unable to distribute the Linux
kernel to be a desirable thing,


Since he said no such thing, it is pretty rude to claim that. This is
undesirable tactics in a argument that is being used repeatedly.


Rahul

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Old 06-09-2008, 06:16 PM
Les Mikesell
 
Default Fedora Freedom and linux-libre

Rahul Sundaram wrote:

Les Mikesell wrote:

David Woodhouse wrote:



To claim that there is no _legal_ basis for such a restriction is also
incorrect. Nothing but the GPL gives you the right to distribute the
Linux kernel. If the GPL has conditions with which you fail to comply,
then you may not distribute the Linux kernel.


I'm not sure why you'd consider being unable to distribute the Linux
kernel to be a desirable thing,


Since he said no such thing, it is pretty rude to claim that. This is
undesirable tactics in a argument that is being used repeatedly.


Sorry, if I misunderstood. When someone describes an alternative to
promote their argument, I assume they are promoting the alternative as
well. But what did that mean if it's not what he wants?


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Old 06-09-2008, 06:34 PM
Les Mikesell
 
Default Fedora Freedom and linux-libre

Alexandre Oliva wrote:

On Jun 9, 2008, Les Mikesell <lesmikesell@gmail.com> wrote:


Firmware that happens to be aggregated for convenient delivery and
installation is no more a part of the GPL'd work than firmware that is
already in your machine


That's missing the point.


No, it _is_ the point.


It's not so much about the firmware, it's
about the GPLed work that depends on it.


The GPL'd part doesn't depend any more or less on it whether it is
loaded on the fly or already there in ROM - or you've updated the
contents some other way.



If you can't "just take the
firmware out", and there's no way to obtain the GPL'ed
allegedly-separate work, how could the claim of 'mere aggregation'
hold any water? Aggregation of what separate works? Where are they?


You do have access to all of the parts and the freedom to split them up
any way you want. What's stopping you?



No, the GPL applies to components that actually are parts of a work as
whole or derivatives. Firmware is something separate, just carried
along for the ride.


No, your honor, this is not a book that I printed for sale. It's just
a bunch of pages from unrelated works that I stapled/bound together in
large quantities and offered to book retailers in exchange for pieces
of paper of a different color.


Exactly. If such aggregations weren't permitted and perfectly normal
when you meet the terms of each component separately, we probably
wouldn't have had any anthologies to read for homework in school.


--
Les Mikesell
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Old 06-09-2008, 06:36 PM
Rahul Sundaram
 
Default Fedora Freedom and linux-libre

Les Mikesell wrote:
Sorry, if I misunderstood. When someone describes an alternative to
promote their argument, I assume they are promoting the alternative as
well. But what did that mean if it's not what he wants?


It just means exactly what it says. If you don't agree with a license
terms, you don't get permission to distribute the software even if the
licensing terms seem odd to you as noted by a judge in the recent Skype
case for violating GPL.


http://laforge.gnumonks.org/weblog/2008/05/08/

This simple fact requires no assumption on your part.

Rahul

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Old 06-09-2008, 07:03 PM
Les Mikesell
 
Default Fedora Freedom and linux-libre

Rahul Sundaram wrote:


Sorry, if I misunderstood. When someone describes an alternative to
promote their argument, I assume they are promoting the alternative as
well. But what did that mean if it's not what he wants?


It just means exactly what it says. If you don't agree with a license
terms, you don't get permission to distribute the software even if the
licensing terms seem odd to you as noted by a judge in the recent Skype
case for violating GPL.


http://laforge.gnumonks.org/weblog/2008/05/08/



This simple fact requires no assumption on your part.


There are a near-infinite number of simple facts that someone could post
here. But why, unless they mean to promote or advocate them?


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Old 06-09-2008, 07:19 PM
Rahul Sundaram
 
Default Fedora Freedom and linux-libre

Les Mikesell wrote:


There are a near-infinite number of simple facts that someone could post
here. But why, unless they mean to promote or advocate them?


It was posted as a reply in context. Go back and read it if you weren't
paying attention. If you can't satisfy the license on the whole, you
don't have permission to distribute the software. The point is that you
can't simply ignore parts that you don't like. This doesn't say anything
at all about the desirability of the outcome as you claimed.


Rahul

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Old 06-09-2008, 07:37 PM
Alexandre Oliva
 
Default Fedora Freedom and linux-libre

On Jun 9, 2008, Les Mikesell <lesmikesell@gmail.com> wrote:

> Alexandre Oliva wrote:
>> On Jun 9, 2008, Les Mikesell <lesmikesell@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>> Firmware that happens to be aggregated for convenient delivery and
>>> installation is no more a part of the GPL'd work than firmware that is
>>> already in your machine
>>
>> That's missing the point.

> No, it _is_ the point.

No, you're focusing only on the firmware. I'm focusing on the whole
work distributed under the name Linux and allegedly (and falsely)
under GPLv2, in spite of containing these firmwares so intertwined
that you can't just rip off the "pages" of the book corresponding to
the firmwares and expect the rest of make sense (to a compiler).
Although a number of the firmwares are indeed printed in "separate
pages" (files), some are actually interspersed with GPLed code. Even
if you were to believe the theory that separate files bound together
say at link are covered by the "mere aggregation in the same media"
exception, I don't see how it could possibly fly when it's hard even
to pinpoint the separate works within a single file, and that
modifying that file so as to remove the offending portions might even
be argued as a violation of the license of the offending portions.
This all *screams* SINGLE WORK, not separate works. To be separate
works, you'd have to start out by being able to point at and obtain
both/all the works separately.

> The GPL'd part doesn't depend any more or less on it whether it is
> loaded on the fly or already there in ROM

Please tell me you don't honestly believe you wouldn't have to modify
the GPLed part to be able to load the tg3 firmwares on the fly or use
them straight from ROM.

> You do have access to all of the parts and the freedom to split them
> up any way you want. What's stopping you?

Nothing. In fact, I'm doing just that.

However, this doesn't mean I didn't have to modify any of the
allegedly separate works in order to accomplish that. I did. So how
are they separate works in the first place?

If you have to rephrase a chapter of a book for it to make sense if
you print the book after removing another chapter, could you honestly
defend the claim that the chapters were separate works in the first
place?

> Exactly. If such aggregations weren't permitted and perfectly normal
> when you meet the terms of each component separately, we probably
> wouldn't have had any anthologies to read for homework in school.

Read again what you wrote. "when you meet the terms of each component
separately". Think about it. That some authors don't object to
anthologies derived from their works doesn't make all anthologies
permissible by copyright law. You still have to get permission from
the copyright holders of each individual work and comply with their
terms.

Think about it this way: If you want to publish a sequel of a novel
along with its predecessor, and the license you have doesn't grant you
permission to modify the work, then no matter how odd it looks to have
the end of the predecessor repeated (with changes) in the first
chapter of the sequel, that's how you gotta publish them.

Now, consider this: you got a copy this fictitious kernel with source
code and firmware embedded in it, but you don't have permission to
modify the kernel at all, even though you have source code and
permission to study it, recompile it and distribute it. So you look
at the sources and you notice that you don't want this firmware in
your kernel image, because you don't have the device that requires it.
So you remove the firwmare and notice that the kernel won't compile
any more. What now? Do you get permission to modify the kernel
(creating a derived work thereof) just because it won't compile after
you rip off a "separate work"? Is it really still a separate work if
you have to do that?

--
Alexandre Oliva http://www.lsd.ic.unicamp.br/~oliva/
Free Software Evangelist oliva@{lsd.ic.unicamp.br, gnu.org}
FSFLA Board Member °Sť Libre! => http://www.fsfla.org/
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Old 06-09-2008, 08:43 PM
Alan Cox
 
Default Fedora Freedom and linux-libre

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

The firmware is available in the windows driver, and various other
drivers. So you can get it that way. I believe the tg3 file may be
available on its own from your own tree.

> > and also on the boundaries of contract created by copyright.
>
> ?!?!? Copyright does not create contracts. Copyright creates

Bingo.. and copyright does not give you power over other works or over a
large number of activities and ways of using them. Contract law does allow
you to do things like that copyright is much more limited.

> 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?

I do not need your permission to put your book on the same bookcase as
someone elses book. Nor do you have any standing to impose restrictions relating
to other works via copyright.

Alan

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Old 06-09-2008, 08:55 PM
Alan Cox
 
Default Fedora Freedom and linux-libre

On Mon, Jun 09, 2008 at 02:54:07PM -0300, Alexandre Oliva wrote:
> license or by copyright law. As I stated before, it's a moral,
> ethical and social issue, even if it's also a negligible legal issue.

It is an interface between two systems.

Consider a typical PC system

You can load the CPU firmware updates by

- Having the BIOS load it
- Having the kernel load it
- Having user space apps load it

That block could be
- residing at an address in ROM
- residing at an address in RAM used by the BIOS
- residing at an address attached to the kernel image
- residing at an address attached to the initrd image

Thats the sole difference - the address it appears at.

Exactly why does the address in RAM change the "morality" of the
distribution. Or would you like try equivocating around "good PC bad Linux"
v "Good Linux Bad PC" depending who distributes which bit.

Do you buy an "evil" widget with ROM binary firmware or a "good" widget
with no proprietary code included that needs an "evil" OS product ?

We are *not* talking about two tightly bound pieces of code here but
general interfaces. The moment you've got a driver and firmware very
closely tied together and sharing structure to the point they were clearly
written and designed as one thing its a bit different yes.

You also complain about the attitude of the kernel developers - well generally
speaking we happened to write the code in question....

Alan

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