Debian Bug report logs - #502668
Binary firmware in whiteheat driver

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Package: linux-2.6; Maintainer for linux-2.6 is Debian Kernel Team <debian-kernel@lists.debian.org>;

Reported by: Ben Hutchings <ben@decadent.org.uk>

Date: Sat, 18 Oct 2008 23:33:07 UTC

Severity: serious

Tags: lenny-ignore

Found in versions 2.6.26-9, 2.6.26-8

Fixed in version 2.6.28-1

Done: Ben Hutchings <ben@decadent.org.uk>

Bug is archived. No further changes may be made.

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Report forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Debian Kernel Team <debian-kernel@lists.debian.org>:
Bug#502668; Package linux-2.6. (Sat, 18 Oct 2008 23:33:10 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Ben Hutchings <ben@decadent.org.uk>:
New Bug report received and forwarded. Copy sent to Debian Kernel Team <debian-kernel@lists.debian.org>. (Sat, 18 Oct 2008 23:33:10 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #5 received at submit@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Ben Hutchings <ben@decadent.org.uk>
To: Debian Bug Tracking System <submit@bugs.debian.org>
Subject: Binary firmware in whiteheat driver
Date: Sun, 19 Oct 2008 00:35:41 +0100
Package: linux-2.6
Version: 2.6.26-9
Severity: serious
Justification: Policy 2.2.1

The file drivers/usb/serial/whiteheat_fw.h contains machine code
written as C structures/arrays, for which the source code is not
provided.  Further, the licence for the firmware is stated to be GPLv2
which does not allow distribution without source code also available.

A patch is available to make this driver use the request_firmware()
API, and I will provide a patch for linux-2.6 shortly.

Ben.

-- System Information:
Debian Release: lenny/sid
  APT prefers unstable
  APT policy: (500, 'unstable')
Architecture: i386 (i686)

Kernel: Linux 2.6.26-1-686 (SMP w/1 CPU core)
Locale: LANG=en_GB.UTF-8, LC_CTYPE=en_GB.UTF-8 (charmap=UTF-8)
Shell: /bin/sh linked to /bin/bash




Tags added: lenny-ignore Request was from Marc 'HE' Brockschmidt <marc@marcbrockschmidt.de> to control@bugs.debian.org. (Sun, 19 Oct 2008 13:48:12 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Bug marked as found in version 2.6.26-8. Request was from Ben Hutchings <ben@decadent.org.uk> to control@bugs.debian.org. (Sun, 19 Oct 2008 14:39:05 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Debian Kernel Team <debian-kernel@lists.debian.org>:
Bug#502668; Package linux-2.6. (Tue, 21 Oct 2008 00:42:05 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Ben Hutchings <benh@debian.org>:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to Debian Kernel Team <debian-kernel@lists.debian.org>. (Tue, 21 Oct 2008 00:42:05 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #14 received at 502668@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Ben Hutchings <benh@debian.org>
To: support@connecttech.com
Cc: 502668@bugs.debian.org
Subject: WhiteHEAT driver and firmware distribution for Linux
Date: Tue, 21 Oct 2008 01:40:24 +0100
I am writing as a member of the Debian project, which distributes a
version of Linux.  The project is attempting to resolve the licencing of
firmware used with Linux.  The following may require attention by your
legal department.

Linux includes a driver and firmware for WhiteHEAT which are listed as
copyright of ConnectTech Inc and licenced under the GNU General Public
Licence (GPL).  Thank you for supporting Linux and free software.

Unfortunately, applying the GPL to the firmware is problematic, because
you distribute it in binary (or equivalent) form, and not the source
code that your programmers used to create it.  The GPL states that
anyone redistributing a work that it covers must also offer to
distribute the source code.  This means that strictly speaking no-one
outside ConnectTech Inc is allowed to distribute the firmware, which I
assume was not your intent.

Please can you clarify the licence for the firmware, and preferably
issue a new licence that clearly allows Debian and others to distribute
the firmware.  Other hardware vendors have used text such as:

    Permission is hereby granted for the distribution of this firmware
    data in hexadecimal or equivalent format, provided this copyright
    notice is accompanying it.

or:

    Redistribution and use in source and binary forms are permitted provided
    that the following conditions are met:
    1. Redistribution of source code must retain the above copyright
       notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.
    2. Redistribution in binary form must reproduce the above copyright
       notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in
       the documentation and/or other materials provided with the
       distribution.
    3. The name of the author may not be used to endorse or promote
       products derived from this software without specific prior written
       permission.

Ben.

-- 
Ben Hutchings




Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Debian Kernel Team <debian-kernel@lists.debian.org>:
Bug#502668; Package linux-2.6. (Tue, 21 Oct 2008 15:51:02 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to "David Worthen" <djw@connecttech.com>:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to Debian Kernel Team <debian-kernel@lists.debian.org>. (Tue, 21 Oct 2008 15:51:02 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #19 received at 502668@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: "David Worthen" <djw@connecttech.com>
To: "Ben Hutchings" <benh@debian.org>, <support@connecttech.com>
Cc: <502668@bugs.debian.org>
Subject: Re: WhiteHEAT driver and firmware distribution for Linux
Date: Fri, 21 Oct 4208 11:49:34 -0400
Hi Ben,
We would be most pleased to clarify license as suggested below. Where do you 
suggest we place the text captioned below?
Regards, david


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Ben Hutchings" <benh@debian.org>
To: <support@connecttech.com>
Cc: <502668@bugs.debian.org>
Sent: Monday, October 20, 2008 8:40 PM
Subject: WhiteHEAT driver and firmware distribution for Linux


>I am writing as a member of the Debian project, which distributes a
> version of Linux.  The project is attempting to resolve the licencing of
> firmware used with Linux.  The following may require attention by your
> legal department.
>
> Linux includes a driver and firmware for WhiteHEAT which are listed as
> copyright of ConnectTech Inc and licenced under the GNU General Public
> Licence (GPL).  Thank you for supporting Linux and free software.
>
> Unfortunately, applying the GPL to the firmware is problematic, because
> you distribute it in binary (or equivalent) form, and not the source
> code that your programmers used to create it.  The GPL states that
> anyone redistributing a work that it covers must also offer to
> distribute the source code.  This means that strictly speaking no-one
> outside ConnectTech Inc is allowed to distribute the firmware, which I
> assume was not your intent.
>
> Please can you clarify the licence for the firmware, and preferably
> issue a new licence that clearly allows Debian and others to distribute
> the firmware.  Other hardware vendors have used text such as:
>
>    Permission is hereby granted for the distribution of this firmware
>    data in hexadecimal or equivalent format, provided this copyright
>    notice is accompanying it.
>
> or:
>
>    Redistribution and use in source and binary forms are permitted 
> provided
>    that the following conditions are met:
>    1. Redistribution of source code must retain the above copyright
>       notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.
>    2. Redistribution in binary form must reproduce the above copyright
>       notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in
>       the documentation and/or other materials provided with the
>       distribution.
>    3. The name of the author may not be used to endorse or promote
>       products derived from this software without specific prior written
>       permission.
>
> Ben.
>
> -- 
> Ben Hutchings 





Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Debian Kernel Team <debian-kernel@lists.debian.org>:
Bug#502668; Package linux-2.6. (Wed, 22 Oct 2008 21:21:02 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Ben Hutchings <benh@debian.org>:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to Debian Kernel Team <debian-kernel@lists.debian.org>. (Wed, 22 Oct 2008 21:21:02 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #24 received at 502668@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Ben Hutchings <benh@debian.org>
To: David Worthen <djw@connecttech.com>
Cc: 502668@bugs.debian.org
Subject: Re: WhiteHEAT driver and firmware distribution for Linux
Date: Wed, 22 Oct 2008 22:16:43 +0100
On Fri, Mar 21, 2031 at 04:17:18AM -0400, David Worthen wrote:
> Hi Ben,
> We would be most pleased to clarify license as suggested below. Where do 
> you suggest we place the text captioned below?
> Regards, david

Your chosen licence text should appear at the top of whiteheat_fw.h in
place of the current GPLv2 text.  Please send the new version of
whiteheat_fw.h by way of confirmation.  Thanks a lot!

Ben.

-- 
Ben Hutchings




Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Debian Kernel Team <debian-kernel@lists.debian.org>:
Bug#502668; Package linux-2.6. (Wed, 22 Oct 2008 21:48:07 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to "David Worthen" <djw@connecttech.com>:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to Debian Kernel Team <debian-kernel@lists.debian.org>. (Wed, 22 Oct 2008 21:48:07 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #29 received at 502668@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: "David Worthen" <djw@connecttech.com>
To: "Ben Hutchings" <benh@debian.org>
Cc: <502668@bugs.debian.org>
Subject: Re: WhiteHEAT driver and firmware distribution for Linux
Date: Wed, 22 Oct 2008 17:42:25 -0400
Thanks for the info Ben. Can you re-send the original message? I didn't save 
the recommended texts of the licenses.
Many thanks, david

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Ben Hutchings" <benh@debian.org>
To: "David Worthen" <djw@connecttech.com>
Cc: <502668@bugs.debian.org>
Sent: Wednesday, October 22, 2008 5:16 PM
Subject: Re: WhiteHEAT driver and firmware distribution for Linux


> On Fri, Mar 21, 2031 at 04:17:18AM -0400, David Worthen wrote:
>> Hi Ben,
>> We would be most pleased to clarify license as suggested below. Where do
>> you suggest we place the text captioned below?
>> Regards, david
>
> Your chosen licence text should appear at the top of whiteheat_fw.h in
> place of the current GPLv2 text.  Please send the new version of
> whiteheat_fw.h by way of confirmation.  Thanks a lot!
>
> Ben.
>
> -- 
> Ben Hutchings 





Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Debian Kernel Team <debian-kernel@lists.debian.org>:
Bug#502668; Package linux-2.6. (Thu, 23 Oct 2008 19:42:03 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Vincent Danjean <Vincent.Danjean@ens-lyon.org>:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to Debian Kernel Team <debian-kernel@lists.debian.org>. (Thu, 23 Oct 2008 19:42:03 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #34 received at 502668@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Vincent Danjean <Vincent.Danjean@ens-lyon.org>
To: David Worthen <djw@connecttech.com>, 502668@bugs.debian.org
Cc: Ben Hutchings <benh@debian.org>
Subject: Re: Bug#502668: WhiteHEAT driver and firmware distribution for Linux
Date: Thu, 23 Oct 2008 21:38:13 +0200
David Worthen wrote:
> Thanks for the info Ben. Can you re-send the original message? I didn't
> save the recommended texts of the licenses.

The message is available here:
http://lists.debian.org/debian-kernel/2008/10/msg00447.html

  Best regards,
    Vincent

-- 
Vincent Danjean       GPG key ID 0x9D025E87         vdanjean@debian.org
GPG key fingerprint: FC95 08A6 854D DB48 4B9A  8A94 0BF7 7867 9D02 5E87
Unofficial pacakges: http://www-id.imag.fr/~danjean/deb.html#package
APT repo:  deb http://perso.debian.org/~vdanjean/debian unstable main





Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Debian Kernel Team <debian-kernel@lists.debian.org>:
Bug#502668; Package linux-2.6. (Fri, 24 Oct 2008 19:48:10 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Ben Hutchings <ben@decadent.org.uk>:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to Debian Kernel Team <debian-kernel@lists.debian.org>. (Fri, 24 Oct 2008 19:48:10 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #39 received at 502668@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Ben Hutchings <ben@decadent.org.uk>
To: 502663@bugs.debian.org, 502665@bugs.debian.org, 502666@bugs.debian.org, 502667@bugs.debian.org, 502668@bugs.debian.org, 502669@bugs.debian.org
Subject: Firmware removal patch
Date: Fri, 24 Oct 2008 20:51:25 +0100
[Message part 1 (text/plain, inline)]
The promised patch can be found at
<http://lists.debian.org/debian-kernel/2008/10/msg00442.html>

Ben.

[signature.asc (application/pgp-signature, inline)]

Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Debian Kernel Team <debian-kernel@lists.debian.org>:
Bug#502668; Package linux-2.6. (Wed, 21 Jan 2009 16:51:02 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #42 received at 502668@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Robert Millan <rmh@aybabtu.com>
To: David Worthen <djw@connecttech.com>, 502668@bugs.debian.org
Cc: Ben Hutchings <benh@debian.org>
Subject: Re: Bug#502668: WhiteHEAT driver and firmware distribution for Linux
Date: Wed, 21 Jan 2009 17:47:51 +0100
On Wed, Oct 22, 2008 at 05:42:25PM -0400, David Worthen wrote:
> Thanks for the info Ben. Can you re-send the original message? I didn't 
> save the recommended texts of the licenses.

Hi David

Ben didn't mention this, but if you could release the source code instead,
it would be most appreciated.

This would allow us to distribute the firmware as part of official Debian
media, rather than the non-free repository, and be the most satisfactory
solution for those of our users who are concerned about security and about
being in control of the hardware they adquired from you.

Thanks for considering,

-- 
Robert Millan

  The DRM opt-in fallacy: "Your data belongs to us. We will decide when (and
  how) you may access your data; but nobody's threatening your freedom: we
  still allow you to remove your data and not access it at all."




Bug marked as fixed in version 2.6.28-1, send any further explanations to Ben Hutchings <ben@decadent.org.uk> Request was from Ben Hutchings <ben@decadent.org.uk> to control@bugs.debian.org. (Sun, 22 Feb 2009 23:27:11 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Bug archived. Request was from Debbugs Internal Request <owner@bugs.debian.org> to internal_control@bugs.debian.org. (Mon, 07 Mar 2011 09:40:31 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

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