Fedora Freedom and linux-libre

Les Mikesell lesmikesell at gmail.com
Wed Jun 18 15:14:19 UTC 2008

max wrote:
>> That's a question you'd have to direct to the author of that file, who
>> said that they were. He ought to know.
> You based your argument around something you haven't confirmed? That 
> hardly seems wise but I can't say I have never done the same, lets all 
> try to avoid this in the future shall we, in such manner are asses 
> made;^). The author is also a programmer yes? not a lawyer? I am not 
> sure the author is qualified in the legal sense to make this 
> determination. The rapid evolution of technologies makes these things 
> especially difficult. Where can I find his quotes? Are they in the 
> documentation? I ask because *if* I forward this along I'll get asked 
> for all this info, it seems quite relevant depending on the basis for 
> this judgement but IANAL (i have always found this combination of 
> letters amusing because I think a good lawyer is anal retentive or I 
> guess any thorough person really, and that's certainly a quality I'd 
> want in my lawyer :^)

The place to start should probably be with CPU microcode that the kernel 
contains and installs.  There's a pretty good argument that most of the 
other device firmware doesn't become  part of 'the Program' and is a 
separate thing even when delivered by the kernel.  That argument might 
be a little harder on the thing actually executing 'the Program', but if 
it works there, it should apply to everything else.

My take on it is that it should be the same as downloading a song to an 
ipod or other player.  Regardless of how you store or encode the bits of 
that song on the way to the device, it is still a separate, independent 
work and it's just someone else's data bits to the rest of the process 
even if that process has the GPL restrictions on its own components.

   Les Mikesell
    lesmikesell at gmail.com

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