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

Matthew Garrett wrote:

> Bernhard R. Link <brl@pcpool00.mathematik.uni-freiburg.de> wrote:
>> We are giving a promise here, that with the stuff in our distribution
>> you have the freedom to use it, to give it to others and to fix it.
>> This means the missing of legal obstacles and the possibility to do so.
>> For this discussion "preferred form of modification" is perhaps not the
>> best definition. It's good for licenses as it is not easily to work
>> around. I think here the difference is between the source being in
>> a form practical to edit or not. Without a practical form there is
>> no possibility to change it. And this is a limitation we have to
>> make clear to people and not lock them into by claiming all is good
>> and well and it could be part of our free operating system.
> 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.

Except for those cases where there is, such as adaptec, ser_a2232, ixp2000,
wanxlfw, atmel, 53c700, 53c7xx, aic7xxx, sym53c8xx_2, and keyspan_pda.

Yes, that includes a very common SCSI card and a very common NIC.

> So I think the real question is "How does us refusing to ship non-free
> firmware help free software?".

WE'RE NOT CONSIDERING DOING THAT.  I hate to shout, but *have* you heard of
non-free?  It was mentioned in the post you're replying to!

....well, we are considering doing it in the cases where the firmware is
*improperly licensed*.  There, the benefit is (a) not getting sued and
protecting downstream from liability, (b) clearly respecting  copyright
holders and respecting their stated desires.

Nathanael Nerode  <neroden@fastmail.fm>

Bush admitted to violating FISA and said he was proud of it.
So why isn't he in prison yet?...

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