[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Etch timeline is unrealistic because non-free firmware is NOT being dealt with

Hash: SHA1

On Sun, 06 Aug 2006 23:52:01 +0200
Goswin von Brederlow <brederlo@informatik.uni-tuebingen.de> wrote:

> They have always been a problem and have always violated the license
> of the rest of the kernel. It is just that nobody noticed or cared
> before but now the cat is out of the sack and the issue is a release
> blocker.
> Sometimes ignorance is bliss. But now we have seen the (ugly) light.

I think there are two separate issues; one is whether debian can
distribute the blobls and the other of whether distribution violates
the social contract.  For the first part, since most of blobs are
probably extracted from non-free windows drivers, there probably is no
vendor-stated permission to distributed the blobs, which could become
the source of lawsuits if some company felt it was worth the bad PR
(think SCO only with a legal foot to stand on).

If permission is given to distribute the blobs unmodified (i.e. read
from disk, upload to device), then the question is about the social
contract.  Personally I think firmware blobs shouln't be covered,
because the reasons free software is important don't apply.  As long as
you have the hardware for which the blob was written (and the
other hardware the device is compatible with), the firmware will work.
It's a black box, that happens to be loaded on initialization instead
in an ROM (AIUI).

- -- 
GnuPG Key Fingerprint 86 F5 81 A5 D4 2E 1F 1C      http://gnupg.org
And that's my crabbing done for the day.  Got it out of the way early, 
now I have the rest of the afternoon to sniff fragrant tea-roses or 
strangle cute bunnies or something.   -- Michael Devore
Version: GnuPG v1.4.1 (GNU/Linux)


Reply to: