[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

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

Raul Miller <moth@debian.org> wrote:

> That quip was a comment on the straw-man scenario where hardware vendors
> were redesigning their products to move a driver for that hardware from
> debian contrib to main.
> And, if that seems nonsensical to you, you're right -- or, at least,
> that scenario seems rather nonsensical to me.  Debian currently doesn't
> represent the kind of market which could lead to this kind of situation.

I'm not suggesting that that's why they're doing it. I'm suggesting that
our moving the driver in response suggests that something is wrong.

> If firmware is presented in hardware form, then I'm free to ignore it as
> "not software".  Of course, if "firmware in hardware" was being something
> obtrusive I might not be able to ignore it.  So far, that's not been
> much of an issue.  [Game cartridges might be an example of obtrusive
> "firmware".]

...or, in other words, you're pretending that this non-free code isn't
an impediment to freedom because it's hidden away inside the device
rather than sitting on your drive?

Regardless of whether this dependency is expressed in our package
management system, most drivers depend on non-free firmware. That is
indisputable. The fact that we support these devices anyway means that
we're already arguably in conflict with version 1.1 of the social
contract. Pretending that software in hardware isn't software doesn't
strike me as better than pretending that documentation isn't software.

Matthew Garrett | mjg59-chiark.mail.debian.legal@srcf.ucam.org

Reply to: