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Re: firmware status for eagle-usb-*

Loïc Minier wrote:
> Don Armstrong <don@donarmstrong.com> - Mon, Oct 18, 2004:
>>No sourcecode bits:
>  Quite interesting, although related to code running on the host, most
>  of the thread is interesting.

Note that where the code runs is not relevant to whether it must be
Free; if Debian ships it in main, it must be Free.

>>In the context of DSP Binaries:
>  Interesting, and particularly this:
>  <http://people.debian.org/~terpstra/message/20030924.002544.1f7d5160.en.html>
>  (where it is stated that if the source has been lost, binary is the
>  preferred form of modification, which could eventually match the Sagem
>  case)

It is possible, yes, but this generally only occurs with software for
which either the original author has no source anymore, or the original
author is not reachable.

>>And the incredibly gargantuan keep non-free proposal thread:
>  It's 3am, I won't read that one!  ;)


>>And finally:
>>http://www.debian.org/vote/2004/vote_003 and
>  Hmm that's a strong commitment of Debian, and I can't argue against
>  that.
>  Anyway, my initial goal was only to report some history of Sagem with
>  this driver, and stating that Pierre Machard cann't reply to this right
>  now.
>  I'm really sorry I re-started a long-discussed troll again, and I'm sad
>  Debian won't provide support for a lot of hardware in a close future.

You aren't trolling; yours was a legitimate question that just happened
to be answered previously.  Debian-legal has a very long "case history",
which is often referenced in future decisions; this approach creates a
steep learning curve for people who just want to send debian-legal a
question.  Regulars have the advantage of knowing more of the context
and therefore being able to search past discussions more effectively.

As for the proliferation of hardware with non-free firmware, that is
highly unfortunate, but it seems as though it may continue for the near
future; hopefully this problem will be avoidable eventually, either
through more "open" hardware or through replacements such as LinuxBIOS.

- Josh Triplett

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