Any chance the Edgeport/4 firmware as distributed in the Linux kernel could be relicensed in a way which would allow Debian to distribute it as well? Ref http://bugs.debian.org/548745 and http://bugs.debian.org/607298
The problem is basically:
- the current copy of the firmware has inherited its license from the driver it was originally part of, i.e. GPLv2
- as the firmware clearly never has been available in its “preferred form for modification”, this license has never really allowed distribution.
See http://gpl-violations.org/faq/sourcecode-faq.html for further explanations. It is well established that large C code byte tables consisting of output data from some assembler or compiler is not allowed under the GPL, without providing the input source used to create those tables.
The Debian Linux dsitribution follow this strictly:
This means that Debian cannot distribute the firmware for the Edgeport devices at all. To solve that either
- the firmware source would have to be available, or
- the firmware would have to be relicensed under some license allowing binary redistribution
I interpret the intention of the original GPL licensing as an attempt to allow unrestricted redistribution of this code. I am therefore hoping that it would be possible to relicense the firmware in a way which follow this intention, i.e. allowing unrestricted redistribution in binary form.