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Old 06-15-2008, 11:42 AM
Andrew Haley
 
Default Fedora Freedom and linux-libre

Les Mikesell wrote:
> Alexandre Oliva wrote:

>
>>> if competitors were allowed to use components from Linux in
>>> commercial offerings
>>
>> They are.
>
> Not in the general case. It would be unfeasible if not technically
> impossible to ship a Linux based OS containing licensed copies of all
> the components needed to match the functionality of commercial OS versions.

I don't believe it. What on Earth is to stop anyone from shipping
a Linux based OS containing licensed copies of everything needed?
I suppose you might argue that device drivers with binary-only
licences are needed, but that's a bit of a stretch. Anybody
can replace all of userland with proprietary licensed alternatives
if they wish. It would be an odd thing to do, but certainly
neither unfeasible nor impossible.

Andrew.

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Old 06-15-2008, 01:13 PM
Emmanuel Seyman
 
Default Fedora Freedom and linux-libre

* Andrew Haley [15/06/2008 15:07] :
>
> I have to disagree with you here. Although this discussion is between
> only a few people, it is relevant and important to Fedora. The

I agree but this isn't the mailing list on which this discussion should
take place. Please take to fedora-legal-list.

Emmanuel

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Old 06-15-2008, 01:21 PM
Andrew Haley
 
Default Fedora Freedom and linux-libre

Emmanuel Seyman wrote:
> * Andrew Haley [15/06/2008 15:07] :
>> I have to disagree with you here. Although this discussion is between
>> only a few people, it is relevant and important to Fedora. The
>
> I agree but this isn't the mailing list on which this discussion should
> take place. Please take to fedora-legal-list.

But that's only for discussion of legal issues, isn't it?

There's no description of that list on the mailman
page, but that's what I'm guessing.

Andrew.

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Old 06-15-2008, 01:39 PM
David Woodhouse
 
Default Fedora Freedom and linux-libre

On Sat, 2008-06-14 at 15:05 -0400, Alan Cox wrote:
> On Sat, Jun 14, 2008 at 04:07:24PM +0100, David Woodhouse wrote:
> > I was quoting the GPL, and very lightly paraphrasing it to help clear up
> > the confusion which you seem intent on seeding.
>
> I think the word you require is "interpreting"

As you wish. I think you're being silly, as I was careful to ensure that
there was nothing in my "interpretation" that you could reasonably find
fault with -- but I'll stick to a direct quote instead...

On Mon, 2008-06-09 at 16:43 -0400, Alan Cox wrote:
> Bingo.. and copyright does not give you power over other works

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.

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Old 06-15-2008, 05:22 PM
Les Mikesell
 
Default Fedora Freedom and linux-libre

David Woodhouse wrote:
I'm proposing that in this scenario, if d is true, b would also be true
if they weren't combined, so the transient combination for distribution
is irrelevant. And if b wouldn't be true, then you are left with e.


But (b) is permitted, while (d) is explicitly not permitted. You can't
just say "oh, but if I wasn't doing (d) then I'd be doing (b), so that's
OK".

Let's consider (b) as 'you are carrying a knife' and (d) as 'you are
stabbing me with your knife'. And your excuse as...

"But officer, if (d) is true, then (b) would also be true if I weren't
stabbing him. So the transient combination of the knife and his abdomen
is irrelevant."


No, to whatever extent an analogy works it would be that the stabbing
occurs in both b & d scenarios and the difference is whether you carried
the knife to the scene or it was already there.



The 'transient combination' is _far_ from being irrelevant. That
combination for distribution is very thing that is not permitted.


Aggregations are explicitly permitted.


You do not have permission to distribute the GPL'd Program under the
conditions described in (d), although you _do_ of course have permission
to distribute it under the conditions described in (b).


You do have permission to aggregate other items. If you have anything
to quibble about here it should be about what methods of aggregation are
permitted.




That's the whole point in the bit in the GPL which goes "...this
License, and its terms, do not apply to those sections when you
distribute them as separate works. But when you distribute those same
sections as part of a while which a work based on the Program, the
distribution of the whole must be on the terms of this License..."


I don't really see anything there about details you have to observe to
maintain a separation. If you want to make some up, go ahead. Maybe
you can modify the compiler to do it for you.


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Old 06-15-2008, 06:07 PM
David Woodhouse
 
Default Fedora Freedom and linux-libre

On Sun, 2008-06-15 at 12:22 -0500, Les Mikesell wrote:
> David Woodhouse wrote:
> >> I'm proposing that in this scenario, if d is true, b would also be true
> >> if they weren't combined, so the transient combination for distribution
> >> is irrelevant. And if b wouldn't be true, then you are left with e.
> >
> > But (b) is permitted, while (d) is explicitly not permitted. You can't
> > just say "oh, but if I wasn't doing (d) then I'd be doing (b), so that's
> > OK".
> >
> > Let's consider (b) as 'you are carrying a knife' and (d) as 'you are
> > stabbing me with your knife'. And your excuse as...
> >
> > "But officer, if (d) is true, then (b) would also be true if I weren't
> > stabbing him. So the transient combination of the knife and his abdomen
> > is irrelevant."
>
> No, to whatever extent an analogy works it would be that the stabbing
> occurs in both b & d scenarios and the difference is whether you carried
> the knife to the scene or it was already there.

No, I think you've completely missed the point.

> > The 'transient combination' is _far_ from being irrelevant. That
> > combination for distribution is very thing that is not permitted.
>
> Aggregations are explicitly permitted.

Collective works are explicitly not permitted, under some circumstances.

> > That's the whole point in the bit in the GPL which goes "...this
> > License, and its terms, do not apply to those sections when you
> > distribute them as separate works. But when you distribute those same
> > sections as part of a while which a work based on the Program, the
> > distribution of the whole must be on the terms of this License..."
>
> I don't really see anything there about details you have to observe to
> maintain a separation. If you want to make some up, go ahead. Maybe
> you can modify the compiler to do it for you.

I have absolutely no clue what you're trying to say; I'm sorry. This is
why I stopped responding to you before. On closer inspection, it seems
that what I thought was a rare moment of lucidity from you was actually
Alex's doing, so I should probably go back to ignoring you. Sorry.

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Old 06-15-2008, 06:44 PM
jeff
 
Default Fedora Freedom and linux-libre

Alan Cox wrote:

On Mon, Jun 09, 2008 at 10:11:33PM +0100, David Woodhouse wrote:

distribute those _same_ sections as part of a whole which is a work
based on the GPL'd Program...


I do not believe they are "part of a whole which is a work based on..". In
this case I believe they are independant works that are merely aggregated.
The alternate position would be that a general interface between two
independent works somehow made them one. That would just as equally say that
firefox and the web are one work.


Do you believe that copyright law _prevents_ the GPL from making
requirements about those separate works, in such a way that still lets
you distribute the GPL'd work without complying with the licence?


That would seem to be a "how often do you beat your wife" question. The
underlying falsehood being that the GPL licence is not being complied with

I don't need your permission to copy the firmware for the tg3 driver I need
the permission of Broadcom.


Perhaps you can clarify this for me.

** What license is linux-2.6.25/drivers/net/tg3.c distributed under? **

If it's not GPLv2, then people should stop saying the Linux kernel is GPv2L,
since it isn't.


If just part of the file is proprietary and the other part is GPLv2 how can it
legally include things like this?


#include <linux/ip.h> which says is under the GPLv2.

And if it's "mere aggregation" where does someone get two parts that are
aggregated? You can't *simply* remove the firmware since they are so tied
together in the tg3.c file (e.g. I tried to do that and broke the driver--it
took Alexandre to do it right).


(I should also note that I'm just talking about the source code--not what runs
where, which is irrelevant to the source itself--I *never* have to even run the
code to by bound by the GPL.)


-Jeff

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Old 06-15-2008, 10:13 PM
Les Mikesell
 
Default Fedora Freedom and linux-libre

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.



The 'transient combination' is _far_ from being irrelevant. That
combination for distribution is very thing that is not permitted.

Aggregations are explicitly permitted.


Collective works are explicitly not permitted, under some circumstances.


Do do have an exact definition of what is not permitted? Chunks of data
carried along for the ride and dropped into separate devices strike me
as "sections of that work are not derived from the Program,

and can be reasonably considered independent and separate works in
themselves". Before getting carried away, can you show how firmware
would not fit this description?



That's the whole point in the bit in the GPL which goes "...this
License, and its terms, do not apply to those sections when you
distribute them as separate works. But when you distribute those same
sections as part of a while which a work based on the Program, the
distribution of the whole must be on the terms of this License..."



I don't really see anything there about details you have to observe to
maintain a separation. If you want to make some up, go ahead. Maybe
you can modify the compiler to do it for you.


I have absolutely no clue what you're trying to say; I'm sorry. This is
why I stopped responding to you before.


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. Any other way of
aggregating the bits together would be the same, including having the
compiler lump the bits in a spot where they can be extracted as cleanly
as a 'tar -x' would do it. It is just a different way of mechanical
aggregation of bits that have nothing to do with each other and are
separated before use.


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Old 06-15-2008, 10:56 PM
David Woodhouse
 
Default Fedora Freedom and linux-libre

On Sun, 2008-06-15 at 17:13 -0500, Les Mikesell wrote:
> Do do have an exact definition of what is not permitted?

I pasted a precise definition of 'collective work' already, didn't I?
It is a work in which a number of separate and independent works are
assembled into one work.

The very definition of 'collective work' is that it is an aggregation of
other independent and separate works.

In order to create a collective work, you need the permission of the
copyright-holders of each of the constituent parts. If any _one_ of them
denies you that permission, then you may not distribute that collective
work.

(I know some people like to make silly noises about 'power over
unrelated other works', but those really are just silly noises. The GPL
only needs to deny you permission to use the GPL'd work in that
situation, and that's perfectly sufficient to stop you. It doesn't need
extra magic powers over the other works that you wanted to include.)

Now, the GPL explicitly says that collective works including the GPL'd
Program are only permitted if the other independent and separate
constituent parts of that whole are also available under the terms of
the GPL. If they're not, then you're not granted permission to
distribute GPL'd Program in that form.

As you know, the GPL makes an exception for 'mere aggregation on a
volume of a storage or distribution medium'. There is some scope for
debate on precisely what is covered by that exception, but not a huge
amount.

It is fairly obvious that that exception doesn't excuse _all_ forms of
aggregation, unconditionally. That's because _all_ collective works are
an aggregation of sorts, by definition -- and it would be ridiculous to
believe that the GPL contains those two paragraphs which explicitly
state its intent to cover collective works, only to say "oh, actually I
didn't really mean any of it" in the next paragraph.

I've been talking generically so far. Getting back to the particular
case of firmware and kernel drivers... these are claimed by the network
driver maintainer to be "intimately tied" "pieces of a coherent whole".
I really cannot see how that claim by an expert in the field can be
reconciled with a claim that the presence of the firmware is 'mere
aggregation on a volume of a storage medium'.

But it's not particularly well-phrased, so there is a grey area, and no
definitive 'right' answer until/unless it's been heard in court. There
are only 'likely' answers.

But any interpretation which includes _all_ collective works in that
exception for 'mere aggregation on a volume of a storage or distribution
medium' is not at all credible; it is clearly inconsistent with the
explicitly stated intent of the GPL.

> Chunks of data
> carried along for the ride and dropped into separate devices strike me
> as "sections of that work are not derived from the Program,
> and can be reasonably considered independent and separate works in
> themselves". Before getting carried away, can you show how firmware
> would not fit this description?

Of _course_ the firmware fits that description. That's what I've been
saying all along -- and that's why I think you're missing the point.

When you distribute the firmware blobs as separate works, of _course_
the GPL doesn't apply to them.

But when you distribute those same blobs as part of a whole which is a
work based on the GPL'd Program, the distribution of the whole must be
on the terms of the GPL, whose permissions for other licensees extend to
the entire whole, and thus to each and every part, regardless of who
wrote it.

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.

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Old 06-15-2008, 11:12 PM
jeff
 
Default Fedora Freedom and linux-libre

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?


Thanks,

-Jeff

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