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Re: non-free firmware: driver in main or contrib?

> Brian Thomas Sniffen <bts@alum.mit.edu> wrote:
> > Marco, it seems to me that there's a parallel case to non-free
> > firmware: dongleware.  Perhaps you could explain how this philosophy
> > applies to that.  If a piece of software is distributed under the GPL,
> > can I add functionality by putting it into firmware on a dongle and
> > having GCC call that?

On Tue, Oct 12, 2004 at 12:37:03AM +0100, Matthew Garrett wrote:
> It would obviously be insane to consider that free, since you'd
> obviously only be doing it in order to circumvent GPL requirements. On
> the other hand, holding the same standards in driver-land would be
> equally ridiculous - people use firmware because that's the way it's
> always been, not because they're trying to screw us over.

As long as he met the source code distribution requirements, I don't
think that there would be anything illegal about his dongle.

That said, Debian wouldn't be distributing his dongle, because it's
hardware, and Debian distributes software.   If there was anything
worthwhile about the software on the dongle, we could just take the
source and distribute it normally.


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