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Re: Proposal: The DFSG do not require source code for data, including firmware

I would like to see some language to the effect that we make the
exception for firmware only in the cases of data that use the moral
equivalent of the kernel load_firmware interface, so that it's clear we
aren't talking about the sort of completely non-free things like that
adsl driver with a userspace binary library or the drivers from
sangoma's site.

But even without this clarification, I second the motion for a vote.

This one time, at band camp, Steve Langasek said:
>          The application of DFSG#2 to firmware and other data
>          ====================================================
> The Debian Project recognizes that access to source code for a work of
> software is very important for software freedom, but at the same time
> "source" is often not a well-defined concept for works other than those
> traditionally considered "programs".  The most commonly cited definition is
> that found in version 2 of the GNU GPL, "the preferred form of the work for
> making modifications to it," but for non-program works, it is not always
> clear that requiring this "source" as a precondition of inclusion in main
> is in the best interest of our users or advances the cause of Free Software:
>   - The author's preferred form for modification may require non-free tools
>     in order to be converted into its final "binary" form; e.g., some
>     device firmware, videos, and graphics.
>   - The preferred form for modification may be orders of magnitude larger
>     than the final "binary" form, resulting in prohibitive mirror space
>     requirements out of proportion to the benefits of making this source
>     universally available; e.g., some videos.
>   - The "binary" and "source" forms of a work may be interconvertible with no
>     data loss, and each may be the preferred form for modification by
>     different users with different tools at their disposal; e.g., some
>     fonts.
> While the Debian Free Software Guidelines assert that source code is a
> paramount requirement for programs, they do not state that this is the case
> for non-program works, which permits us to consider whether one of the above
> points justifies a pragmatic concession to the larger context within which
> Free Software operates.
>         1. reaffirms its dedication to providing a 100% free system to our
> users according to our Social Contract and the DFSG; and
>         2. encourages authors of all works to make those works available not
> only under licenses that permit modification, but also in forms that make
> such modifications practical; and
>         3. supports the decision of the Release Team to require works such as
> images, video, and fonts to be licensed in compliance with the DFSG without
> requiring source code for these works under DFSG #2; and
>         4. determines that for the purposes of DFSG #2, device firmware
> shall also not be considered a program.
> ==============================================================================
> Cheers,
> -- 
> Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
> Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
> vorlon@debian.org                                   http://www.debian.org/

|   ,''`.                                            Stephen Gran |
|  : :' :                                        sgran@debian.org |
|  `. `'                        Debian user, admin, and developer |
|    `-                                     http://www.debian.org |

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