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Re: LCC and blobs

Michael Poole wrote:
> Glenn Maynard writes:
>>On Thu, Jan 06, 2005 at 02:42:50PM -0500, Michael Poole wrote:
>>>Brian Thomas Sniffen writes:
>>>>software which he could download... but not from Debian, since it's
>>>>not Free and not packaged.
>>>Why do you insist on the "downloadable" part of "useless without
>>>additional software which he could download"?  I see no basis for that
>>>qualification in the DFSG or policy.  I could manufacture a device
>>Well, all software is downloadable (if not necessarily easily or
>>legally), so I think that word is a no-op.  I think the focus, here,
>>is "since it's not Free and not packaged": there seems to be a violation
>>of SC#1 if the data should be included in the package for its basic
>>use, but isn't for legal/freeness reasons.
> The legal reason applies much more to AIM than to Debian.  The
> freeness issues are where we disagree: I consider the firmware to be
> part of the (inherently non-DFSG-free) hardware; you want to treat it
> as related only to the driver.
> The ICQ server is not free and not packaged.  Why does it get a pass?

If the ICQ server were packaged in the Debian non-free section, would
you make ICQ clients Depends: or Recommends: on the ICQ server?  If not,
then if the ICQ server were packaged, the ICQ client would still be in
main.  Therefore, the ICQ client can be in main.

In general, Debian doesn't make clients for a network protocol depend on
servers for that protocol.  I think that's a perfectly reasonable
policy, given that you could run the server elsewhere, not on the local

Similarly, consider if the firmware were packaged in non-free.  If the
device didn't require the driver to load firmware, the driver would at
most Suggests: firmware, and could go to main.  If the driver must load
the firmware, the driver Depends: or Recommends: firmware, so the driver
can't be in main.

If we don't use a mechanism similar to this, then we end up in a
situation where if the firmware becomes distributable, ends up in
Debian, and the driver can then express proper dependencies, the driver
would have to move to contrib.  That would make no sense.

- Josh Triplett

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