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Re: NEW handling: About rejects, and kernels

Hamish Moffatt <hamish@debian.org> writes:

> > And nothing there explains why firmware should have less freedom,
> > except for the claim that without this we won't be able to distribute
> > the drivers (and you say how important those drivers are).
> Maybe. But why won't you refute the arguments that are there?

I don't need to.  What we are lacking is not those arguments, but the
key missing pieces: what freedoms do you want to insist on (as opposed
to the DFSG)? and why should we accept lesser freedoms for this one
class of software?

> "Refusing to distribute binary firmwares does not help free software. You
> may choose between getting the firmware with your hardware on a flash
> EPROM chip or having your driver load it, but at the end of the day you
> will still use some software whose source code is not available. If
> removing binary firmwares from debian makes using free software harder
> for our user then it harms the free software cause."

This is like saying that people will use star office whether it's DFSG
free or not, so there is no reason to say "we won't distribute this
until it's DFSG free".  In fact, people can and do make things free.

> Please explain why you disagree with this.

We should tell users: we are unable to support this hardware, because
we don't have the source.  Among other things, we are unable to fix
security bugs in it.  (And yes, device drivers certainly can have
security bugs!  I've even seen firmware bugs with security

> I suspect you'll say that we simply must have the source, without
> compromise. Freedom for freedom's sake, etc.

No.  Why do you think we insist on the source for programs in general?
Why do we insist on the source for openoffice.org or emacs?  Is it
just mindless?  No.  It's for good and worthy reasons.  You need to
explain why those reasons somehow don't apply in the case of firmware.

And, you need to give us a clear definition of "firmware", which
exactly matches the reasons you've given.  And, still, you need to
tell us what freedoms exactly you do want, instead of the DFSG.

And then, you can propose a GR.

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