Re: DFSG violations: non-free but no contrib
On Mon, Nov 03, 2008, Josselin Mouette wrote:
> > Consider SSL certificates for e.g. Verisign. It makes no sense to
> > change them and we don't have the ultimate source for them. These are
> > generated data files for which we have the tools to build them, but not
> > the ultimate source data (private key). And if we had the private key,
> > they would be worthless. These are effectively static data enabling
> > SSL communications with sites using these SSL certs providers.
> Since SSL certificates are randomly generated data, they are not subject
> to copyright law, so I don’t think they are in any grey area. We can
> change them without any licensing issue, it’s just that they won’t
> fulfill their job if we do.
I'm not arguing about their copyright(-ability): just that we can't
usefully modify them; and still, the private key is the source to
create the certificate (even if it's random data), and we don't have it
in main. The same goes with firmware: we might have the right to
distribute modified binary firmwares, and they are sufficiently useful
as they are, even without accompanying ultimate source. Their form is
sufficient for a free OS, not for free hardware though; just like
certificates are sufficient for a free OS, not for an open
> > Firmwares can be considered somewhat the same: static data enabling the
> > use of your hardware. You can perhaps change them. Perhaps we have
> > the tools to change them. Perhaps we can change them usefully. But
> > they are useful as such and we don't need to fight for their freedom as
> > we fight for the freedom of the main OS.
> Firmware images are very different. They are binary code, only code not
> meant for execution on the host CPU. They are similar to non-free data
> for games: stuff that we cannot modify and with which we can live
> without modifying, but it would be useful to be able to, and it is
> impossible to distribute it in main.
The non-free games data I know of is non-free because we may not modify
it because the license doesn't explicitely allow it; what specific
example did you have in mind? This is IMO different from firmware
binaries which we may well be allowed to change, but don't have the
tools/doc to do so.