Les Mikesell wrote:
> Whatever mechanical translations you can do to something will not
> change its copyright status. If you make a tar file containing 2
> different copyrighted works, they are still 2 separate works, but
> there is nothing magic about tar's format that relates to this concept.
But what is the copyright status of drivers/net/tg3.c? What lines are
GPL (if they are) and which lines are not GPL? I don't mean this as a
theoretical exercise, I mean this *literally*. If you read tg3.c it
* tg3.c: Broadcom Tigon3 ethernet driver.
* Copyright (C) 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 David S. Miller (davem(a)redhat.com)
* Copyright (C) 2001, 2002, 2003 Jeff Garzik (jgarzik(a)pobox.com)
* Copyright (C) 2004 Sun Microsystems Inc.
* Copyright (C) 2005-2007 Broadcom Corporation.
* Firmware is:
* Derived from proprietary unpublished source code,
* Copyright (C) 2000-2003 Broadcom Corporation.
* Permission is hereby granted for the distribution of this firmware
* data in hexadecimal or equivalent format, provided this copyright
* notice is accompanying it.
It never mentions GPL *EXCEPT* here:
MODULE_AUTHOR("David S. Miller (davem(a)redhat.com) and Jeff Garzik
MODULE_DESCRIPTION("Broadcom Tigon3 ethernet driver");
But tg3.o as distributed by RedHat/Fedora when it's compiled is *NOT* a
GPL .o, it has the proprietary data in it. It isn't separate at all
(like some firmware, say intel wireless, which is a completely separate
I look at tg3.c and I can't tell where this "aggregation" begins and
ends. It's the *SAME FILE*. Can you clearly say which line numbers are
GPL and which line numbers are not GPL?
I don't know much about kernel drivers and I don't think ordinary humans
are expected to. I'd approach the question more mechanically, on the
same order as trying to establish if the elements within a tar file are
separate things, or if the files represented within an iso image are
separate things. If the compiler stores in a form that the loader can
identify and download to the correct device, I'd be convinced that it is
a separate thing regardless of any intermediate mechanical
transformations or representations.