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

On Sun, Oct 24, 2004 at 03:41:13AM +0100, Matthew Garrett wrote:
> Mike Hommey <mh@glandium.org> wrote:

> > The point is, some drivers DO require firmwares. I'd rather say: Some
> > depend on firmware. In that case, if the firmware is non-free, the
> > driver can't go in main.

> Is this the case even if the firmware is in a flash chip attached to the
> device? If the total amount of non-free software on a user's system is
> the same regardless, why are we concerned about how it's packaged?

The total amount of non-free software on a user's system is different if the
firmware comes pre-loaded on the device than if we have to load it from the
OS, isn't it?

If there is at least one real-world device that works with the driver
without needing to load additional firmware, I think the driver is
unambiguously free from this standpoint.  If no one can point to a device
that the driver works with without the help of an additional non-free
firmware blob, I'm not certain I agree that it doesn't have a dependency on
non-free software.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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