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Re: LCC and blobs

Matthew Garrett <mgarrett@chiark.greenend.org.uk> writes:

> Let's pretend that Debian actually has a significant amount of leverage
> on this sort of issue, and that vendors see their drivers appearing in
> contrib and want to do something about it. They /could/ open the
> firmware and provide a toolchain for it. We'd put the driver in main,
> then. Alternatively, they could put the firmware in ROM. In this case,
> the amount of non-free code on a user's system would not change, but
> we'd move the driver to main anyway.

So they might do the right thing!  And they choose a mechanism for
inhibiting users other than licensing restrictions.  Either way, it
ceases to be Debian's game.  We are for free software, and there are a
lot of ways to hurt people that Debian is not concerned with.  

> Note that this doesn't mean I think firmware should be in main. But I
> think that's an entirely separate argument. Picking on drivers that
> force us to notice their dependencies on non-free code while ignoring
> drivers that are just as dependent (but in a less obvious way) is
> hypocrisy.

No, because we have chosen a limited set of goals.  We are for free
software, not Curing All The World's Ills.  There is nothing
hypocritical about Debian deciding to attack one problem (non-free
software) without attacking a different problem (unchangeable
burned-in software).

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