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

On Tue, Oct 12, 2004 at 04:27:48PM +0100, Matthew Garrett wrote:
> What extra freedoms does this buy you? How is the cause of free software
> benefited from this distinction? Your entire point here seems to be that
> drivers that depend on non-free code that's in ROM are preferable to
> non-free code that's on disk. This is surely backwards - on-disk
> firmware is easier to modify (not by a lot, but a little) than on-ROM
> firmware. 

That would probably depend on the license on the non-free drivers.

One problem with "non-free drivers in downloaded firmware" is that they
can be licensed such that not everyone who owns the hardware can use
the firmware.  For example, it might be that no one they can find is
licensed to give them a copy of the firmware.

Firmware which has a license which allows us to put it in non-free
isn't likely to run into this problem, but not all firmware is licensed
that way.


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