Re: non-free firmware: driver in main or contrib?
On Mon, 25 Oct 2004, Brian Thomas Sniffen 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.
Then by the same reasoning the all-hardware device is broken too. It needs
"another component" (driver) to function. Neither the version with the CD
nor the version with the eeprom will function by themselves.
> >> > 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 ...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.
Modifying software stored in an eeprom involves some sort of copying that
cutting a book in half doesn't, and therefore is prohibited under copyright
There's no difference between the CD and the eeprom here.