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

* Brian Thomas Sniffen (bts@alum.mit.edu) [041014 16:35]:
> "Marco d'Itri" <md@Linux.IT> writes:
> > Why should this be worse than firmwares distributed on flash, which is not
> > even explicitly licensed at all?

> Because I don't need a license to use the firmware on flash, and I
> never need to make a copy or distribute any copies other than those
> bought and paid for, and covered by first-sale -- the copyright owner
> already got his royalty when I bought the device.

Do you really think that the freeness of a software (i.e. whether we can
include it in main) really depends on whether some non-free stuff is
placed on an eprom or a cdrom? I plainly disagree.

I view main as a closure, i.e. it can only relay on other software in
main for compilation and execution. So, either this software is free or
not. And we need to draw a line somewhere. We accept that all software
requires on some kind of hardware to run, and this hardware is not free.
We accept that it may even require (non-free) microcode in the
processor. We, however, don't except that it needs code that's executed
on the host cpu.

Whether we accept non-free bios or not is _not_ logically determinable
from the SC and from the DFSG. In my opinion, we should decide to draw
the line at "runs on the host cpu". Of course, your opinion might
differ, and it's as much based on the SC as mine.

   PGP 1024/89FB5CE5  DC F1 85 6D A6 45 9C 0F  3B BE F1 D0 C5 D1 D9 0C

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