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

MJ Ray wrote:

> I think the idea that refusing to ship non-free firmware in main will
> strengthen demand for free firmware is worthy of consideration.  Debian
> helps users to take control of their operating system.  Increasing the
> demand for free firmware might also help users to take control of their
> hardware, or at least highlight that there's this crap which their
> operating system uses to support their hardware but doesn't have its
> normal freedoms.
> However, I'm undecided whether it's a good idea to exclude them from the
> distribution CDs and so on.  How big is the problem of vital hardware
> which won't work without firmware being copied to it?

Complete list at http://doolittle.icarus.com/~larry/fwinventory/2.6.17.html,
with details.  What that list does *not* show is that certain drivers only 
need firmware loaded for some of their supported cards.  In the case of tg3,
only a few rare (and old) cards actually need the firmware loaded.

> Should we split 
> non-free into non-free-hardware and non-free, allowing non-free-hardware
> packages onto the CDs?

Should we allow certain non-free material onto the installation CDs? 
Actually, that would be an compromise OK with me: the installation CDs only
get used the once, and the material would be clearly separated out into the
non-free section during and after installation.

Doesn't address the legal issue of whether material without a proper
distribution license should be included.

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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