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SubjectRe: non-free firmware in kernel modules, aggregation and unclear copyright notice.
David Schmitt wrote:

> On Thursday 07 April 2005 09:25, Jes Sorensen wrote:
> > [snip] I got it from Alteon under a written agreement stating I
> > could distribute the image under the GPL. Since the firmware is
> > simply data to Linux, hence keeping it under the GPL should be just
> > fine.
> Then I would like to exercise my right under the GPL to aquire the
> source code for the firmware (and the required compilers, starting
> with genfw.c which is mentioned in acenic_firmware.h) since - as far
> as I know - firmware is coded today in VHDL, C or some assembler and
> the days of hexcoding are long gone.

First, there is *NOT* any requirement in the GPL at all that requires
making compilers available. Otherwise it would not be possible, for
instance, have a Visual Basic GPL'd application. And yes, it is possible.

Second, up until the present day I have personal experience with
hardware producers that do not have enough money to buy expensive
toolchains and used a lot of hand-work to code hardware parameters. So,
at least for them, hand-hexcoding-days are still going.



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