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

Ken Arromdee <arromdee@rahul.net> writes:

> On Sun, 24 Oct 2004, Raul Miller wrote:
>> > The person who has the device doesn't neceessarily have the firmware, because
>> > the firmware can be removed.
>> The person doesn't have the device at that point -- only part of it.
> The same reasoning applies for both examples if you refer to the combination of
> hardware plus CD as a "device".

But that imagined device is broken: it needs another component to read
the CD, load the firmware off of it into the computer's memory,
process it there, then upload that to the device itself.

>> > Of course, there are relatively few examples where you'd *want* to
>> > remove the eeprom from the device, but similarly there are few examples
>> > where you'd want to sell the device without accompanying it with a CD.
>> Of course, those examples include this one: inadvertently losing track
>> of the CD.
> That's a difference, but it doesn't seem to be enough.  It just means I need to
> rephrase the question:
> "So what's the difference between a device with firmware, and a device with
> a CD plus a non-free license letting you copy the CD?"
> In that case, losing the CD doesn't matter because the user can get another
> copy.  The user can't modify the software on the CD, but then he had no
> permission to modify it when it's in hardware either.

I'm not sure this last is true, for the same reasons that I may saw
any book I have purchased in half and sell the result to you.


Brian Sniffen                                       bts@alum.mit.edu

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