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Re: LCC and blobs

On Sat, Dec 11, 2004 at 08:11:31PM +0100, Josselin Mouette wrote:
> Le samedi 11 d?cembre 2004 ? 11:00 -0800, Brian Nelson a ?crit :
> > You are the only person I've seen express views similar to mine on
> > debian-legal.  All other participants argue for non-free-firmware-using
> > drivers going in contrib.
> Do they?

Judge for yourself:


(and others...)

> > Also, the current practice already is moving in this direction.  For
> > example, the ipw2100 driver is in contrib.
> For a single package that won't work without the binary blob, that's a
> good policy. 

It's a completely inconsistent and arbitrary policy.

Virtually *all* device drivers in existance require a binary blob to
work.  It's up to the manufacturer to provide the binary blob to the
user when they purchase the device.  Some devices have the blob on the
hardware itself; for others, the manufactures ship it on CD or make it
downloadable from a website.  Some manufactures allow us to distribute
it; others don't.  We should not care what they do.  That's up to the
manufacturer's and the users of their hardware to work out.

> But for a driver that's built within the kernel, this is fucking
> stupid. We already have several packages with some features that only
> work when some non-free stuff is installed (see e.g. xine). What's
> wrong with the kernel having *some* modules needing non-free blobs?
> They won't work out of the box, but that's not a reason to exclude
> them from the kernel. This is more work for the kernel maintainers,
> more work for the users, and no gain.
> In fact, all these drivers (including ipw2x00) should be built with our
> kernel, and the binary firmwares that we can ship should be included in
> the non-free section.

That would be an acceptable though not ideal solution to me.

For every sprinkle I find, I shall kill you!

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