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Re: more evil firmwares found

Eduard Bloch wrote:

> #include <hallo.h>
> * Nathanael Nerode [Mon, Apr 12 2004, 09:50:18PM]:
>> > Is there a point to your bragging?  (You've said that like 4 times in
>> > the past hour.)
>> It's not supposed to be bragging.
> What else? Do you realize that you declare the most part of sold
> hardware (in some areas) as evil and dead stuff, and the only
> explanation/advice you provide is: buy-a-new-hardware-dude. What about
> simple people that spent >>1k€ for a pre-configured box and expect to
> run Linux on them? They cannot simply go and replace parts, this means a
> lot of money (and time to sell the old components again).
This happens regardless.  Look at, to use your own example, Winmodems.

>7 years ago, I
> could laugh about winmodems and such crap because they were an
> exception. Today, this happens more and more often.
So you don't laugh at winmodems any more.  I assume you see the problem with
being locked in to non-free software?...

>> >  Or are you volunteering to buy the rest of us some cool
>> > hardware like that?
>> And it's not that cool, either.  :-)
>> (a) Nobody seems to be *listening*; they keep saying "Everyone will need
>> this firmware!".
> No. I think you are blinded after fighting the evil non-free software,
> so much that you don't see the limits of feasibility.
And I think you're seeing the limits of feasibility where they aren't.

>> (b) I didn't pick *any* of this stuff with an eye to avoiding non-free
>> firmware; it's a completely random sample.
> Same story.
As what?

>> (c) It's all fairly cheap.
> Bingo! And people often cannot choose what they buy. What about that?

If you can't choose what you buy, you have much bigger problems, well beyond
Debian's ability to deal with.  And anyway you probably have a Winmodem
without Linux support.

> GPLed drivers with just some (free modifiable and redistributable BLOBs)
> are an acceptable solution.
Fine; if they're acceptable to you, go ahead and use them.  I have no
problem with that, and I use non-free software as well.   But they're not a
DFSG-free-software solution unless the blobs are DFSG-free software.

Oh, wait, I think I see the problem:
You're only considering blobs for which rights are clearly granted to modify
freely and redistribute, which you therefore think of as DFSG-free (despite
the lack of source code).  I don't think that's the case with most of the
blobs we're talking about.  Either
(a) They're not licensed under a free software license at all
(b) The licensor licensed them supposedly under the "GPL", but without
providing source code -- so the licensor hasn't licensed them in a
coherent, meaningful manner and the license can't be trusted.

If the blobs were *BSD-licensed*, then your argument would be a lot more

>> Therefore, I think the people who keep saying "Most people will need this
>> firmware!" are smoking crack or something.
> It's not said there. It's your interpretation.
Please offer me another reasonable interpretation of the various statements
about how vital and essential this firmware is to Debian's "users".

Anyway, I'm willing to be convinced that most people will need various
firmware; but I have not seen much beyond vague assertions.

>> > Personally, I find it rather odd that there's this tempest in a teapot
>> > over a couple of pieces of firmware when there are far larger matters,
>> Yeah, I think it's odd too.  Of course, I'm beginning to see a pattern:
>> when non-free stuff is found, some people go "Oh dear -- we must remove
>> that." Some people go "Well, *this* non-free stuff is *so important* that
>> we should keep it in main, because Debian will be *useless* without it,
>> and besides, it shouldn't have to follow the DFSG because it's in
>> thus-and-such a category."

> And some people say, it is NOT non-free.
That's a nice argument. It's also brand new.  I haven't seen anyone before
you seriously claim that any of this stuff without source code, or without
freedom to modify, satisfies the DFSG.  Would you care to present such an

> It is equaly free, and each
> part of argumentation that you and some others wrote before have been
> refuted very quickly.
Well, that's just not true.

Make sure your vote will count.

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