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Re: non-free firmware

On Thu, Jan 12, 2006 at 02:59:00AM -0800, Chris Waters wrote:
> On Wed, Jan 11, 2006 at 12:00:06PM -0500, Nathanael Nerode wrote:
> > Source code is clearly mandatory under the DFSG for programs.
> Actually, that's a bit of a tricky one.  I've written small programs
> entirely in binary, for which there was no source code.  Are you
> claiming that such programs could not possibly be DFSG-free?  Because,
> if so, I strongly disagree.  The GPL only refers to the "preferred
> form of the work for making modifications to it."  In the case of a
> program written by hand in binary, binary would seem to qualify.

Since this is by far the less common case, i think it is reasonable to ask for
an official disclaimer of the author that the binary is indeed the preferred
form of work, one that would be legally binding even if the author was found
out to lie about it.

> But in general, yes, if a program HAS source code, then that source
> code should be properly available under a DFSG license for the program
> to be considered DFSG-compliant.  Most binary blobs I've seen in
> drivers are large enough that I would refuse to believe they were
> coded by hand in binary.



Sven Luther

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