[linux-audio-dev] Request to audio related LiveCD packagers

Andrea Glorioso andrea.glorioso at agnula.org
Tue May 4 09:08:28 UTC 2004

>>>>> "Takashi" == Takashi Iwai <tiwai at suse.de> writes:

    > let me clarify the situation.  there are a couple of different
    > questions regarding this:

    > 1. is the firmware binary is a program or a data?

    > 2. can we force the h/w vendor to show the source code under GPL
    > (if exists) in practice?

    > 3. if not, shouldn't we change the license to the
    > non-restrictive one?  which license would be feasible?

There is also point (4): should the AGNULA project distribute (via the
AGNULA/DeMuDi distribution) binary firmware if we agree that (1) is
true and (2) is false?  I mean, how pragmatic should we become?

    > so far, alsa-firmware package is released from the understanding
    > of 1 as "data".  but if someone insists it as program, yes, it
    > can be a problem.

And what's worse, the   distinction between "program" and   "data" can
often become  really blurry.  And I  might  be wrong,  but my guess is
that if a piece of data is absolutely necessary for  a GNU GPL program
to work, then    that data should be  distributed   together  with the
program at the same  conditions of the GNU  GPL (otherwise the GNU GPL
itself could be very easily bypassed).

    > sure, the correct distribution under GPL would be the best case,
    > i.e. including the source code of the orignal assembly codes (if
    > really exists).

    > basically, it is  a decision of the h/w  vendor who provides the
    > DSP binary, not by me.  if the GPL is  really unsuitable (and we
    > can judge  the firmware as a program   100% absolutely :), we'll
    > suggest   them to either  show  the  source code  or change  the
    > license ASAP. but i don't expect GPL source codes as a realistic
    > solution, although i'll  try it of  course.  remember that  they
    > are *really* delicate about the firmware code.

The first step I would do  is ask the  companies that are distributing
firmware under the GNU GPL is a written  and signed statement that the
binary code is actually their preferred form to modify the program, as
as such the binary and the source really are the same thing.


Andrea Glorioso                      andrea.glorioso at agnula.org
AGNULA Technical Manager                 http://www.agnula.org/
M: +39 333 820 5723                     F: +39 (0)51 930 31 133
      "Libre Audio, Libre Video, Libre Software: AGNULA"

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