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Re: Honesty in Debian (was Re: Amendment to GR on GFDL, and the changes to the Social Contract

Michelle Konzack <linux4michelle@freenet.de> writes:

> The first one load a BLOB/Firmware into a Hardware which runs
> ON the Hardware and not in the OS.

The OS *all* runs "ON the Hardware".

But Debian's determination is about what we distribute.  We don't
distribute non-free things as part of Debian main.  This is true
whatever the name of the processor, whatever the role of the software
in the system, and so forth.

It is a rule that we apply *equally* to drivers with downloadable
firmware and drivers where the code is burned in to the chip: in both
cases we do not distribute the code unless it is free software.

Saying that the downloadable case is "really" just like the burned-in
case is incorrect: they are the same *except* for the following two
features: first, in the downloadable case there is the possibility of
free software being used, and second, in the downloadable case we are
being asked to violate our principles and distribute the non-free
software as part of Debian.

> Why should I distribute the Sourcecode? - What are your interests?
> If someone buy my hardware, he get a userspace tool to upload the
> Firmare and run the hardware.  And now it is non-free?

Yes.  Freedom refers to liberty, not price.  Do they get a userspace
tool to modify the code if they wish?  Do other hardware vendors get
to see your code so that they (and you) can participate cooperatively
in the steady improvement of the software?  

> And now again:  Why do you want the Source-Code of a perfectly
>                 working Hardware which you can not modify?

Because we want to be able to learn from and modify the program.  

Another way to put it: Why do you want us to distribute your software
for you?


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