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Re: [DRAFT] resolving DFSG violations

Ben Hutchings <ben@decadent.org.uk> writes:

> This situation sucks. But we cannot claim to have a 100% free
> distribution while including sourceless firmware.

That is my main concern, yes.

> The obvious solution is to have official free and not-quite-official
> non-free variants of the installer. But since most users won't know
> in advance whether they need sourceless firmware, the safe default
> would always be to choose the non-free variant - thus this is no
> solution. I wish I could think of something better.

One possibility is that there's no better option but to draw a similar
line in the sand as was done for free software 25 years ago.

Hardware vendors now appear (from my understanding of this discussion)
to be at the same point where software vendors were 25 years ago:
unquestioningly pushing out software works that are increasingly
flexible and updatable, but without even considering that some
recipients might expect freedom in the work, and in formats that can't
be feasibly modified without additional works that are themselves

Whether or not the future holds a similar flowering of baseline
freedom as has occurred so far in CPU-targeted software works, I don't
know. I also don't know from where the expertise, resources, and
funding will come to reform or replace the established non-free
hardware vendors.

What I do know is that it will never happen unless a significant
number of hardware owners and operating system distributors decide
that the current trend of increasing dependence on non-free software
for running our hardware is unacceptable.

 \      “If you fell down yesterday, stand up today.” —_The Anatomy of |
  `\                                   Frustration_, H. G. Wells, 1936 |
_o__)                                                                  |
Ben Finney

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