[vdr] OT: issues about binary only code in GPLed programs [WAS] future VDR and Net??eiver OEM from Reelmultimedia

Darren Salt linux at youmustbejoking.demon.co.uk
Sun Jul 1 15:33:21 CEST 2007

I demand that Georg Acher may or may not have written...

> On Sun, Jul 01, 2007 at 12:33:39PM +0200, Clemens Kirchgatterer wrote:
> Until now, there's AFAIK no legal decision that you are not allowed to
> include binary only modules in the kernel. If it gets that far, we will put
> in user space. No real gain, but if it helps...

As things stand, ISTM that if you distribute, you'll be in clear
licence-violation territory in the view of at least some of the copyright

>>> The usual practical "anti-binary" arguments for a PC platform (new
>>> mainboard requires new kernel) don't count here, it's an embedded
>>> system. You can't simply switch the kernel anyway, as it has many
>>> additions for the V4L-stuff.
>> what if i wan't to put additional faetures into the card? what if i
>> want to fix a bug in the firmware? benefit from performance improvments
>> in later kernel releases?

> IMO a theoretical question. This is not file server. It's a video decoding
> card.

That doesn't matter. It's still Linux-based and you still need to release the
modified sources (I'd say enough to allow the building of a complete
filesystem image for the device).

And anyway, I think that the kernel-upgrade and bug-fix points are valid...
and it'd probably help if you get as many of your changes upstream as you
reasonably can (if you haven't already started on this). For a start, that's
likely to make it easier for *you* to switch to a newer kernel :-)

> Most of the important stuff is done in the (closed) co-processors
> anyway. If you want it to be a file server, you don't need the HDMI output.

No argument there.

| Darren Salt    | linux or ds at              | nr. Ashington, | Toon
| RISC OS, Linux | youmustbejoking,demon,co,uk | Northumberland | Army
|   <URL:http://www.youmustbejoking.demon.co.uk/> (PGP 2.6, GPG keys)

Steer clear of incorrect forms of verbs that have snuck in the language.

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