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Re: Leverage in licensing discussions (was: [DRAFT] resolving DFSG violations)

Le mardi 04 novembre 2008 à 10:23 +1100, Ben Finney a écrit :
> How does this follow? Surely if the firmware is already being
> distributed by the project, that's a *smaller* incentive to the vendor
> to change the license.
> The position “Your license isn't acceptable to us; please change the
> license so that we can begin distributing to our users” is surely
> stronger than “We're distributing your firmware and all our users can
> get it, but please change the license so that it's slightly easier to
> get”. In the latter case, the vendor stands to gain less from making
> the license free, so that's less leverage.

Past experience shows that manufacturers aren’t really listening to
arguments such as “we won’t distribute your drivers unless you do that”.
See nVidia if you want a good example.

On the contrary, by distributing firmware images in a way that makes
them already technically modifiable and subject to reverse-engineering,
it becomes clear that they have nothing to lose by distributing the
sources, and much to win as it allows the community to help them in
maintenance tasks.

In other words, I think the carrot has better leverage on them than the
stick. Of course it all depends on who we’re talking, as the stick will
work just fine on an obscure Chinese manufacturer but not on a
world-leading company that sells high-grade hardware at 10 times the

: :' :      We are debian.org. Lower your prices, surrender your code.
`. `'       We will add your hardware and software distinctiveness to
  `-        our own. Resistance is futile.

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