Aeluros 2005 PHY support in Linux-libre

Alexandre Oliva lxoliva at
Mon Dec 8 04:43:11 UTC 2008

On Dec  7, 2008, "Alfred M. Szmidt" <ams at> wrote:

>    Note that I write 'GPL-licensed', rather than
>    GPL-compatibly-licensed'.  Say, if this sequence is offered under a
>    permissive GPL-compatible license, but it turns out to be object
>    code without corresponding sources, then distributing the
>    combination of that sequence with someone else's GPLed code amounts
>    to copyright infringement and, according to GPLv2, automatic
>    termination of the license.

> The same can happen for a GPL licensed work, if the prefered form of
> modification is to modify a binary blob, then this is "source code"
> according to the GPL.  "Object code" is simply the inverse of that.

Which means it wouldn't be 'object code without corresponding
sources', it would be 'source code'.  Which is precisely why I'm
asking :-)

The reason I mentioned GPL-compatible licenses is that it's more
likely for someone to receive a work under a permissive license, in
object form without source code, and be misled into believing that
work can be integrated into a GPLed work, just because the licenses
are compatible, without realizing that distributing the combination
would not abide by the terms of the GPL.

> Nor would it constitude copyright infringment, as long as the prefered
> form of modifying the blob is to modify the blob, and not recompile
> it.

That's true, but it just makes it clear that it's not "the same thing"
at all.

I wasn't talking about blobs.  I talked about specific sequences of
numbers and wondered whether they were source or object code (as
defined by the GPL).

Please don't confuse or conflate the issues.  It's already hard enough
to make oneself understood in these matters.  If people read one
thing, understand another and then proceed to contradict what's
written using the same term in the way it was written (rather than the
way it was misunderstood), it generates dissent and confusion.


Alexandre Oliva 
You must be the change you wish to see in the world. -- Gandhi
Be Free! --   FSF Latin America board member
Free Software Evangelist      Red Hat Brazil Compiler Engineer

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