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Re: Proposal - Deferment of Changes from GR 2004-003

Xavier Roche writes:
> The firmware is a detached part of the connected hardware, nothing more.

It's software.  It's not a part at all.

> Wi-Fi cards problems are a good example: there is no ROM in the pcmcia
> device, and therefore the binary code is loaded during startup in the
> RAM.  Why should we treat this case differently ?

Do we treat Wi-Fi cards differently?  We shouldn't.

> I strongly think that firmware are a pieces of proprietary hardware.

If it gets loaded into RAM and executed by a cpu it is software.

> But not part of the operating system (the code is independent from the
> architecture and the OS).

Then it need not be licensed under GPL-compatible terms.  However, if
Debian distributes it, it must be under a DFSG-compliant license.

> Are we going to ask for the hardware sources, too ?

Debian does not distribute the hardware.
John Hasler
john@dhh.gt.org (John Hasler)
Dancing Horse Hill
Elmwood, WI

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