[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

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

On Wed, Aug 23, 2006 at 03:40:49PM +0100, Matthew Garrett wrote:

> We never included non-free applications in main because we felt that 
> there was no need to. And, indeed, even in 1993 it was possible to use a 
> computer without any non-free applications.

> That doesn't hold with the firmware argument. With applications, we had 
> the choice between "Free but less functional" and "Non-free but more 
> functional". With firmware we have the choice between "Non-free but on 
> disk" and "Non-free but in ROM". There isn't a "Free" option at all yet.

> So I think the real question is "How does us refusing to ship non-free 
> firmware help free software?". If a user wants to use Debian, then the 
> obvious thing for them to do will be to buy hardware that has the 
> non-free firmware in ROM. Ironically, this will actually make it harder 
> for them to ever use free firmware!

> I think it's reasonable to refuse to ship non-free code when there's 
> actually a choice or when it's likely to provide an incentive to 
> implement a free version. But right now, I don't see any evidence that 
> refusing to ship non-free firmware will do anything other than cost us 
> users without providing any extra freedom.

AFAICS, there has never been a debate about whether to ship non-free
firmware, only about where to ship it.  If not having source for firmware
makes it non-free, then it seems obvious to me that under the DFSG, it
shouldn't be shipped in main.

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/

Attachment: signature.asc
Description: Digital signature

Reply to: