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Re: LCC and blobs

Thomas Bushnell BSG <tb@becket.net> wrote:
> Matthew Garrett <mgarrett@chiark.greenend.org.uk> writes:
>> The dependency still exists - it just isn't expressed within the terms
>> of our package management system. I am entirely happy to describe this
>> distinction as arbitrary.
> And yet, in this case the non-freeness of the software isn't hurting
> the user.  The point isn't whether the firmware "exists", the point is
> whether the user is being prevented from modifying it by licensing or
> non-source-distribution restrictions.  

Oh, but it does. Having the source code to the firmware of my DVD drive
would allow me to remove some silly restrictions. I've even got software
that would allow me to reflash it. Now, you could make the argument that
if I bought the DVD drive then I've never agreed not to reverse engineer
the code in question. On the other hand, the documentation attempts to
claim that I have no right to do so, and if I installed the Windows
drivers they'd make me agree to do the same thing. 

If you've got any European case law that shows that I have significantly
more rights because the software is in flash instead of on disk, I'd be
fascinated to hear it. I've no especially good reason to believe that to
be true at present.
Matthew Garrett | mjg59-chiark.mail.debian.devel@srcf.ucam.org

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