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


Humberto Massa wrote:
> 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.

From section 3 of the GNU GPL, version 2:

The source code for a work means the preferred form of the work for
making modifications to it. For an executable work, complete source
code means all the source code for all modules it contains, plus any
associated interface definition files, plus the scripts used to
control compilation and installation of the executable. However, as a
special exception, the source code distributed need not include
anything that is normally distributed (in either source or binary
form) with the major components (compiler, kernel, and so on) of the
operating system on which the executable runs, unless that component
itself accompanies the executable.

I take that to mean the compiler's exempted if it's the normal one
available on the platform, but if the software distributor had to modify
gcc to produce the binaries it's distributing then you're entitled to
the compiler too.

So a Visual BASIC application uses a standard VB compiler, but that's
not necessarily the case for a Linux kernel running on an embedded box.



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