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Re: Proposal - Deferment of Changes from GR 2004-003

Xavier Roche <roche@httrack.com> writes:

> I fully agree: the firmware is a evil, proprietary code. But it is always
> true: the fact that you load it on startup in the remote hardware, or the
> fact that it already exists in ROM, doesn't change anything. The problem
> is then, considering that we provide open drivers for proprietary hardware 
> and proprietary firmware [ROM], where is the limit ? In this view, all
> drivers should be in [contrib], because they require propietary software
> [firmware] to work. But drivers aren't in [contrib], because we consider
> that there is a specific exception with hardware/firmware. Not making such
> exception for distributing firmwares is then not logical, IMHO.

I don't think this is right.  If there is no dependency, the thing
doesn't have to be in contrib.

Remember, a thing goes in contrib because it is only useful with
something in non-free.  But a driver is useful for both the
proprietary firmware and any free firmware that should arise.  Even
though the possibility of the latter is remote, I don't think it's so
remote that it means the thing should go in contrib.  There certainly
wouldn't be an actual package dependency, any more than the kernel
currently contains such dependencies on ancillary stuff.

But maybe not, maybe such drivers should go into contrib.  Still, this
only applies to cases where there is loadable firmware that the kernel
is loading.  This is not the usual case, so it would not mean that all
drivers would go in contrib.

The issue is not about "firmware", it's about whether there is
changeable software which we are prevented from changing by licensing


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