Fedora Freedom and linux-libre
dwmw2 at infradead.org
Mon Jun 9 07:40:33 UTC 2008
On Sun, 2008-06-08 at 18:34 -0400, Alan Cox wrote:
> Actually Dave I continue to think you are the mistaken one in the case
> of firmware files. I would suggest you read up on derivative works
> rather than your pet interpretation of the GPL.
Are you suggesting that the bzImage we ship is not derived from the
kernel source? Or that to distribute it, you don't need the permission
which is granted by the GPL?
It is a common mistake to think that because the firmware itself is not
derived from the kernel, it therefore _cannot_ be touched by the GPL
whatever the GPL actually says.
This is not so. A software licence can make whatever restrictions it
likes (within reason).
If you are required to pay money, you cannot refuse on the basis that
the money is not a derived work of the software.
If you are required to send a postcard, you cannot refuse on the basis
that the postcard is not a derived work of the software.
If you are required to place some of your own work under GPL, you cannot
refuse on the basis that your own work is not a derived work of the
If you are required to sacrifice your first-born child, one would
sincerely hope that your reason for refusal is _not_ the fact that your
first-born child is not a derived work of the software.
Of course you _can_ refuse, in all of the above cases -- for whatever
reasons you like. But if you do refuse, then you have no permission to
distribute the software in question.
(In the latter case, the person who released software under that licence
may get in trouble for promoting an attitude of violence, but you still
wouldn't be permitted to use his software).
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