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Re: LCC and blobs

Brian Thomas Sniffen <bts@alum.mit.edu> writes:

> It doesn't matter if the manufacturer includes the CD.  If I buy the
> card on eBay, the original owner may not have a license to
> redistribute the firmware to me.

That's a purely hypothetical situation.  Show me a case where someone
has been convicted for selling used hardware, and including the driver

>> Yes, I'm deliberately being a little extreme here, but I see no
>> fundamental difference between requiring the user to possess some data
>> and requiring the user to possess a physical object.
> One is software, which Debian could ship, and the other is hardware,
> which Debian cannot ship.  Software has no inherent limitation on its
> duplication and distribution -- copying bits and shipping them about
> is essentially free.  Duplicating and distributing objects is hard
> enough to be the basis of our economy.
> Free software, free data, are inherently different and useful concepts
> without needing to free all hardware.

As I said, lots of software requires any potential user to have some
knowledge about something (I previously mentioned signal processing as
an example).  To my knowledge, Debian does not distribute any free
books on signal processing, even though it could, if such literature
existed.  Does this prevent signal processing toolkits from going into
main?  I see gnucap (GNU Circuit Analysis package) is in main.  This
is useless for anyone without some knowledge of electronic circuits,
and Debian does not include any books on that subject, so the gnucap
package depends on non-free "data".  Does this mean that gnucap must
be moved to "contrib"?

Måns Rullgård

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