Is Ubuntu commited to free software?
donsoto at gmail.com
Thu Jun 10 15:07:31 UTC 2010
On Thu, Jun 10, 2010 at 4:51 PM, Scott Kitterman <ubuntu at kitterman.com>
> You miss my point. At least AFAICT the microcode isn't in that file, so
the freeness of the microcode is unrelated to the freeness of that file. In
any case, even if it's there, the entire file is GPL v2, so it's Free.
Nothing in the GPL requires code comments.
Indeed, no comments are required by the GPL, but source code is required.
>From the GPL Version 2:
3. You may copy and distribute the Program (or a work based on it, under
Section 2) in object code or executable form under the terms of Sections 1
and 2 above provided that you also do one of the following:
a) Accompany it with the complete corresponding machine-readable source
code, which must be distributed under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above on
a medium customarily used for software interchange; or,
b) Accompany it with a written offer, valid for at least three years, to
give any third party, for a charge no more than your cost of physically
performing source distribution, a complete machine-readable copy of the
corresponding source code, to be distributed under the terms of Sections 1
and 2 above on a medium customarily used for software interchange; or,
c) Accompany it with the information you received as to the offer to
distribute corresponding source code. (This alternative is allowed only for
noncommercial distribution and only if you received the program in object
code or executable form with such an offer, in accord with Subsection b
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.
If distribution of executable or object code is made by offering access to
copy from a designated place, then offering equivalent access to copy the
source code from the same place counts as distribution of the source code,
even though third parties are not compelled to copy the source along with
the object code.
Arguably, a binary firmware blob is not source code as in "the preferred
form of the work for making modifications". Consequently, a file containing
a binary blob probably won't be considered free according to the GPL.
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