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Re: non-free firmware

On Thu, Jan 12, 2006 at 08:05:04PM -0500, Glenn Maynard wrote:
> On Wed, Jan 11, 2006 at 12:00:06PM -0500, Nathanael Nerode wrote:
> > "Firmware" are programs.  They are binary executables designed to run on a 
> > CPU.
> > Source code is clearly mandatory under the DFSG for programs.
> > There is no room for discussion here; the binary-only firmware is clearly 
> > non-free.
> I think trying to declare firmware to be "not a program", in order to
> permit it in main without including source, is contrived; if Debian wants
> to allow firmware without source, it shouldn't use a faulty definition
> of "program" to accomplish that.  

Technically it used the definition of "software" (as opposed to
"firmware", "hardware" and "documentation") to do this; but in any case
it does not do so anymore.

> Instead, it should say what it means:
> "we don't require source for this class of program".  It seems much more
> honest to answer the question "do we want to require source for firmware
> programs?"--and change the DFSG if it disagrees with the project's
> conclusion--than to ask "do we want to pretend firmware isn't a program,
> so we can ignore the DFSG's source requirements?"

These days we require the same things of everything in main, except
license texts themselves.


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