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Re: Lost Trust

On Tue, Jun 01, 2004 at 10:33:39AM +1000, Matthew Palmer wrote:
> On Mon, May 31, 2004 at 11:15:51AM -0300, Brian Nelson wrote:
> > Matthew Palmer <mpalmer@debian.org> writes:
> > > In the case of non-free firmware and the associated brou-ha-ha, it was
> > > decided, I think, that the needs of our users was best served in the long
> > > term by also helping Free Software.  Considering we have both to worry
> > > about, there wasn't much else we could do.
> > 
> > How does removing firmware "help" free software?
> Firstly, we're not "removing firmware" we're removing non-free firmware. 
> As far as I'm aware, we haven't removed any DFSG-free material deemed usable
> by the maintainer.
> As to how removing non-free firmware helps free software, it helps for many
> of the same reasons removing non-free <anything> helps free software.
> 1) It encourages free alternatives to be written.
> 2) It encourages original vendors to open their source to the community if
> they deem it appropriate.
> 3) It encourages people to support vendors who follow the tenets of free
> software, making it a more profitable move to do so.
> 4) It increases awareness of free software and it's tenets.
> For firmware, (2) is the most pressing reason, with (3) close behind.  (1)
> is possible, but not as likely as, for, say, a PDF viewer.  (4) is, I will
> agree, slightly tongue-in-cheek.

You missed far and away the most important one:

(5) It's actually legal, unlike *not* removing it, which is a federal
offence in the US and a major civil lawsuit in most of the rest of the
world. SCO would just *love* to be able to bust down the doors of a
bunch of free software developers and confiscate all their electronic

All else aside, we cannot knowingly commit an infraction of the GPL,
and any individual who does so is also personally liable for their
actions: you do not have the warm fuzzy corporate safety blanket here.

  .''`.  ** Debian GNU/Linux ** | Andrew Suffield
 : :' :  http://www.debian.org/ |
 `. `'                          |
   `-             -><-          |

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