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Re: more evil firmwares found

On Wed, Apr 14, 2004 at 01:49:03PM -0400, Nathanael Nerode wrote:
> Eduard Bloch wrote:
> >> > 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
> argument?

The only part of DFSG that I saw that pertains to this matter is section 2.

2. Source Code 
The program must include source code, and must allow distribution in
source code as well as compiled form.

This statement is vague. All the drivers that have been discussed
include the source code and can be compiled, the only question has been
whether the hex data structure in the driver source violates section 2
(AIUI). The way that section 2 is worded I believe it does not. These
data structures differ from the nvidia object files in that they are in
the code itself and not separate x86 compiled object files. They are
also not meant to run on the host cpu directly so probably could not
even be compiled on a FOSS system in the first place even if they are
not the original form of source for the firmware. Others I have talked
to have said that if 2 is considered in violation then even if we did
have the source code if we had no way to compile it then it still could
not go into Debian. Also, if we have no way to compile the source how
would we even know if it is really the source to begin with?


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