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Re: LCC and blobs

On Tue, 28 Dec 2004, Brian Thomas Sniffen wrote:
> > But that's a strange reason to require that the firmware blob on CD be free.
> > It's essentially saying "if you can make it hard to modify the firmware,
> > you don't need to allow modifications at all".
> As always, intent matters.

But most people have several different things in mind when they do something.
Intent is rarely a simple all or nothing question.  I'm sure that while
the manufacturer had lots of reasons to put firmware on a chip, the idea
"... and it'll be harder for the users to get at it" crossed people's minds
a good many times, even if it wasn't the only reason for doing it.

I think the scenario "They moved the firmware from a chip to a CD, so we
can't distribute a driver any more" is ridiculous.  Any attempt to modify
the rules to handle firmware should either fix that situation or else *really*
justify why that's desirable.

> The
> difference with a chip on a card is not that it's difficult to modify,
> but that it's not treatable as software!  I can't open it in Emacs, so
> it isn't software.

There are DRM scenarios where you can't open in Emacs something that's
obviously software.  There are also cases where you could open firmware chips
in Emacs (for instance, a BIOS, or a device which has debug commands to dump
its own firmware).

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