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

On Wed, Aug 23, 2006 at 06:17:00PM +0200, Moritz Muehlenhoff wrote:
> Bernhard R. Link wrote:
> >> 	4. Determines that as a special exception to DFSG #2, source code for
> >> device firmware will not be required until we have the technical means
> >> to split them out in a convenient way for our users.
> >
> > I'd rather suggest to give a direct hint in time. Like "until etch
> > releases", so that people wanting non-free firmware have to do the
> > techical stuff and not the people wanting control over what their
> > computer do.
> None of the trolls demanding the removal of firmware from main has
> ever done significant work to resolve this upstream. Plus, the GR
> wouldn't stop them from doing so.

Err, i want to disagree on this.

  1) i think that Nerode has written some firmware removal patches which where
  rejected as broken or premature (upstream was not yet ready at that time
  with the infrastructure). The reply were pretty agressive back then, which
  explains why he didn't followup.

  2) in the same way, Larry did provide some useful audit, and did dig up some
  patch for tg3. Not sure of the quality of it though, and i don't think he
  really wrote it. Equally, his efforts were quite agressively greeted.

  3) Myself and later Andres and a few others, did contact broadcom and a few
  others hardware manufacturers, to get the non-free firmwares not being
  distributed under defacto GPL. We where laughed at from both some of the
  debian team as well as the LKML folk, but we continued nonetheless, and
  managed to clarify the issue, thus setting an useful precedent.

So, you may be right to some point, but should moderate your language and
affirmations. If we are going to go this way, and an effort is going to be
made, and not shouted at and rejected, then more people actually doing the
work and motivated for it may surface and help.


Sven Luther

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