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    SubjectRe: Binary firmware in the kernel - licensing issues.
    Simon Kelley wrote:
    >Now Linus could say "I consider that the kernel copyright holders
    >did/didn't give permission to combine their work with firmware blobs"
    >and I contend that practically all the copyright holders would go along
    >with that judgement, just as they went along with Linus's judgement
    >about linking binary-only modules with their work.

    I am not a lawyer. So, please do not rely on this as legal advice.

    I think you are confusing people having a strong distaste
    for suing their fellow developers with people agreeing to something.
    Also, your theory would require explicit unanimous agreement of the
    contributors of GPL'ed kernel code if you actually want to guarantee
    anything.

    By the way, there are some additional advantages to not compiling
    in the firmware that perhaps you might not have contemplated. Reducing
    people's perceived legal exposure would most likely help adoption of
    your driver. Separate firmware loading also offers more upgradability
    and, therefore, maintainability and perhaps extensibility if people
    want to try firmware improvements (for example the WiFi frequencies
    available for use are different in different countries and there may
    also be different power limits or other requirements). Finally, you
    would avoid the need to keep a copy of the firmware in unswappable
    kernel memory if your driver supports hot plugging (since a device
    could be plugged in at any time, not just at driver initialization).

    Adam J. Richter __ ______________ 575 Oroville Road
    adam@yggdrasil.com \ / Miplitas, California 95035
    +1 408 309-6081 | g g d r a s i l United States of America
    "Free Software For The Rest Of Us."
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