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

On Wed, Aug 23, 2006 at 01:12:25AM +0100, Stephen Gran wrote:
> 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.

First of all, I'm not asking for an exception; I'm asking the project to
confirm whether "programs" should be understood to include firmware.  Only
if the project votes this GR down would it be time to consider making
exceptions (which would definitely require 3:1 majority), I think.  I would
welcome any suggestions about how to make the language of the resolution
clearer on this point.

That said, then, I'm not sure there's any value in worrying over wording to
make it clear that userspace binary libraries aren't covered.  AFAIK, no one
is arguing that such a library isn't covered by DFSG #2 because it's not a
program; it's clear to me that it is part of a program when used, and is
covered by DFSG #2.  If someone did try to claim it wasn't covered by DFSG
#2, we would have to amend the DFSG to close whatever loophole they were
using, and I don't think it's worth speculating about what that loophole
would be before someone actually tries it, so I don't see any point in tying
this GR to a DFSG amendment unnecessarily.

OTOH, if you think people -- either Debian developers or others in the
community -- will be confused into thinking this GR means closed userspace
tools are also ok, then by all means please tell me where you think the
ambiguities lie so that we can eliminate them.

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/

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