Re: Proposal: The DFSG do not require source code for data, including firmware
Matthew Garrett wrote:
> Bernhard R. Link <email@example.com> wrote:
>> We are giving a promise here, that with the stuff in our distribution
>> you have the freedom to use it, to give it to others and to fix it.
>> This means the missing of legal obstacles and the possibility to do so.
>> For this discussion "preferred form of modification" is perhaps not the
>> best definition. It's good for licenses as it is not easily to work
>> around. I think here the difference is between the source being in
>> a form practical to edit or not. Without a practical form there is
>> no possibility to change it. And this is a limitation we have to
>> make clear to people and not lock them into by claiming all is good
>> and well and it could be part of our free operating system.
> We never included non-free applications in main because we felt that
> there was no need to. And, indeed, even in 1993 it was possible to use a
> computer without any non-free applications.
> That doesn't hold with the firmware argument. With applications, we had
> the choice between "Free but less functional" and "Non-free but more
> functional". With firmware we have the choice between "Non-free but on
> disk" and "Non-free but in ROM". There isn't a "Free" option at all yet.
Except for those cases where there is, such as adaptec, ser_a2232, ixp2000,
wanxlfw, atmel, 53c700, 53c7xx, aic7xxx, sym53c8xx_2, and keyspan_pda.
Yes, that includes a very common SCSI card and a very common NIC.
> So I think the real question is "How does us refusing to ship non-free
> firmware help free software?".
WE'RE NOT CONSIDERING DOING THAT. I hate to shout, but *have* you heard of
non-free? It was mentioned in the post you're replying to!
....well, we are considering doing it in the cases where the firmware is
*improperly licensed*. There, the benefit is (a) not getting sued and
protecting downstream from liability, (b) clearly respecting copyright
holders and respecting their stated desires.
Nathanael Nerode <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Bush admitted to violating FISA and said he was proud of it.
So why isn't he in prison yet?...