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Re: kernel firmwares: GR proposal

Marco d'Itri <md@Linux.IT>
> Yes, I would strongly object. I am very annoyed at people who consider
> some GPL'ed drivers to be contrib material because the hardware they
> support stores its proprietary firmware on the system hard disk instead
> of on a flash eeprom chip like some other hardware. As a contributor to
> some of these projects I consider this demeaning.

This shouldn't be a personal annoyance debate.  The increasing use of
firmware uploads from the kernel is something which should be addressed.
It's not one or two small corner cases any more - these are programs
and should be free software to be included in debian main.  A program
doesn't stop being a program because it runs on a different processor.

It's not different based on whether it's stored in hard disk or eeprom:
if programs for writing to flash eeprom chips are put into debian main,
they must be free software too.

> The only compromise I can see is a new archive section different from
> main, contrib or non-free which will be considered part of Debian and
> distributed on our CD and netboot images.

When I catch up with this list, I'll write that option up if no-one else
has done so.

> No, it's a contentious issue because some people are trying hard to
> change the values of Debian replacing what was a compromise widely
> accepted by everybody in Debian and most people outside Debian with
> mindlessly following their idea of the DFSG.

No, it's a contentious issue because some people are pushing hard to
change Debian's founding agreements to allow this because we've let
it sneak under the radar for far too long.  I'm all for giving people
time to work out licensing problems (as lawyers don't seem to move
very quickly) but maybe I should reconsider if 'we've been doing it
for so long, let's revise policy to match the bug' is the result.

My Opinion Only: see http://people.debian.org/~mjr/
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