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

Takashi Iwai tiwai at suse.de
Tue May 4 13:45:10 UTC 2004

At Tue, 04 May 2004 11:03:10 +0200,
Andrea Glorioso wrote:
> >>>>> "Jens" == Jens M Andreasen <Jens> writes:
>     > Hi!  Am I the only one to believe that this firmware discussion
>     > is getting a bit out of touch? I mean, the firmware is not
>     > running inside a gnu system, right? It is running on an external
>     > device.
> It depends on what you mean for "gnu system" and for "external
> device".  Care to elaborate?
>     > I can't see how uploading binary firmware would be different
>     > from relaying encrypted mail.
> I can't see how they might be related, so either you explain that to
> me or I fear we'll have a communication problem. :)

i might have minunderstood his arguments, but let me try to straighten
the discussion.

1) the firmware loader itself is clean.  the all source codes are
   provided under GPL.

2) the firmware data is, so far, provided also under GPL, too.
   (i.e. it is redistributable by any person.)
   and this looks like a problem.  if the firmware data is regarded as
   a "program", the corresponding source codes must be provided.
   but if it's nothing but "data"?  how can we prove for/against that?

4) because of the suspect of (2), AGNULA doesn't include alsa-firmware
   package in the live-cd.

so, the discussion should have nothing to do with the fact "on which
system the firmware is loaded".  it's the question of distribution.
it it's distributed under a wrong license, either change the license
or provide what's needed additionally.

ok, let's look at the case of encrypted mail as an example.
basically, you can read your encrypted mail with a GPL mailer.
but, if you distribute this encrypted mail under GPL, most likely
you'll need to give the original mail as human readable, because there
is a "source" mail.
the exception would be the case if you wrote an encrypted mail as it
is (yes, in former days, it was coded manually :)
you don't have to provide the source, because it IS the source...

in addition to the above, there is another thing to discuss -- 
whether such gray binary stuffs are included in AGNULA.
AGNULA people must decide it, if the alsa-firmware data is released
under a different license.

this is my understanding.  please correct me if it's wrong.


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