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



Seconded.

>          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.
> 
> THE DEBIAN PROJECT therefore,
> 
>         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.
> 
> ==============================================================================

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