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Re: "keep non-free" proposal

On Tue, Mar 09, 2004 at 12:19:44AM +1100, Hamish Moffatt wrote:
> On Mon, Mar 08, 2004 at 12:56:43PM +0100, Sven Luther wrote:
> > Thomas, please tell me, what is the licencing situation of the bios you
> > run ? And if your motherboard has some defect, are you able to look at
> > the source code for the chipset, and modify it, or possibly make sure
> > there is not some unwanted trojan included there ? 
> Although it's not important I will point out that the chipset isn't
> software but rather an ASIC, and modifying it is a bit more involved
> than recompiling! It does actually have source code but it's no more

Yeah, sure, which is more reason for making sure we will not compromise
ourself with vendors of binary-only drivers.

> reasonable to demand the source code for your chipset than for your
> Pentium 4 or Athlon XP processor. But then you may think it's quite
> reasonable to demand the source code for both...

And, don't you think the proprietary vendors did not use exactly this
rethoric 10, 20 years ago ? Do you not think that this is exactly the
same thing Microsoft would tell you today if you asked them about source
code ? I do believe there are free processor alternatives out there,
like the opensparc one for example. There is also a free hardware
community out there, as well as free firmware people, but these are
areas debian as whole, and the non-free proponent in particular, have
largely been ignoring.

> Actually said source code would probably be quite useful from an
> educational POV.

Yeah, among other. It may also be our only chance once the
privacy-limiting DRM laws become stronger and more enforced.


Sven Luther

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