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

ludovic@ludovic-brenta.org wrote:

>If there is a vote, I will vote AGAINST granting a special
>exception to firmware, or considering firmware as data.  Manoj's
>arguments are compelling IMHO.  In addition, the proposed GR makes no
>mention of blobs, which are binary-only pieces of software that execute
>*in kernel space*, *on the central processing unit*.  Linux contains
>a few blobs.  I would therefore:
No, "blobs" are opaque streams of bytes which are uploaded to some
device and never executed by the system CPU.
You are talking about non-free object files to be linked with the rest
of the kernel code, and the Linux kernel does not contain any.
Please get a clue.

>The proposed GR mentions that some firmware requires non-free tools in
>order to create it from source code.  Just because no free tools exist
>*now* does not imply that no free tools will *ever* exist; and just
>because some vendor tries to lock people in with non-free firmware does
>not mean we should accept to be locked in.
We *are* "locked in" no matter if we distribute sourceless firmwares
or not since everybody will always end up using some.

>  I think we should learn from
>OpenBSD on this front.
I agree. Indeed, the OpenBSD project not only distributes sourceless
firmwares, but also sourceless firmwares with a license which forbids
modifications and reverse engineering.


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