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Re: Bug#239952: kernel-source-2.6.4: qla2xxx contains non-free firmware

On Thu, 25 Mar 2004 17:21:44 +0100, Marco d'Itri wrote:
> Refusing to distribute firmware files is just hypocrisy, because
> everyone of us has some non-free firmware in his own computer.

It's a big difference if we _have_ it (e.g. also microcode in the CPU,
BIOS, etc.) on our local machine, or if Debian distributes it in binary
form. As soon as the firmware distributed with Debian becomes the
preferred form of making the hardware run, the firmware should be
considered as "usual" software.

Right, we should worry about this sorry state where we only have code in
binary form, but we can't distribute it, for the same reasons as we
don't distribute other software in binary form.

The solution here would be to ask upstream for disclosure of source code
and maybe the offer to help with build environment integration. Else,
(binary) firmware could be provided in non-free packages for hardware
with buggy firmware. The presence of it could trigger its use. (If
there's no firmware provided in the device at all, I don't consider it
"firmware" if it's Debian's turn to provide it.)


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