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Re: firmware blobs

On Wed, Aug 16, 2006 at 12:28:28PM -0700, ldoolitt@recycle.lbl.gov wrote:
> Sven -
> On Wed, Aug 16, 2006 at 09:01:15PM +0200, Sven Luther wrote:
> > Ah, it has been argued, that since the driver depends on the firmware to work,
> > it should then go to contrib, but not stay in main, so moving the whole stuff
> > to non-free is lightyears easier to handle, and you don't need to do the
> > source-code modification work to remove the firmware.
> I don't buy that argument.  There might be other means of
> loading the firmware (warm boot from windows, additional
> hardware, etc.).  Once it's in, the driver will work fine.
> The driver depends on the hardware to work, too, and we don't
> require a way to stuff the hardware into the tarball.

Yeah, as for a package needing a bunch of non-free libraries. There are other
way to get those, compile them yourself, alienize them from some random rpm
based distrib, and so on.

This still mean that those binaries need to go in contrib.

The only exception is if those drivers are also usable without the firmware,
which may be the case for some of them.

> > [chop] people where saying that we were fools to ask [for a real
> > firmware license] from
> > broadcom, given their non-free-software attitude and all, and they were rather
> > helpful and after some lengthy discussion and consulting of their legal
> > department, they agreed to change the licencing, so it is no more defacto
> > GPL2 (altough it remains non-free, but at least it is distributable).
> > 
> > The main problems are those drivers where the copyright author is lost.
> I think the job is worth doing, but it's far more than I can
> accomplish in an afternoon.  Just for fun, I might try to follow
> up on the two blobs I started chasing down.

Err, the idea is just to grep the copyright blob which you already read, and
list who the copyright owner is (like broadcom for the tg3 driver, or intel
for the e100 one).


Sven Luther

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