The blobs are actually GPL-compliant free software?

Alexandre Oliva lxoliva at
Sun Aug 2 14:50:13 UTC 2020

On Aug  2, 2020, "a.reviewer1234 at" <a.reviewer1234 at> wrote:

> We need people to help build discourse and figure out exactly what is going on here.

There is clearly someone in violent denial over there :-/

Whoever wishes to join that debate may offer as smoking-gun supporting
evidence of non-GPL code in Linux sources the following two files:

clean_file drivers/net/appletalk/cops_ffdrv.h
clean_file drivers/net/appletalk/cops_ltdrv.h

Whoever assumes the FSF or anyone else could successfully sue about the
above files needs to do some studying about such legal concepts as
standing (only copyright holders can sue for copyright infringement),
estoppel and clean-hands (once you distribute or contribute to the
project that engages in certain behavior, can you still sue about it?),
and also about unsettled legal theories such as that blobs like the ones
above could be regarded as mere aggregation under the GPL, and whether
they're used as separate programs or as libraries.

Feel free to link to this post once it hits the archives.

Alexandre Oliva, happy hacker
Free Software Activist
GNU Toolchain Engineer

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