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Re: [YET-ANOTHER-AMENDMENT]: Release Etch now, with source-less but legal and freely licensed firmware

On Tue, Oct 03, 2006 at 02:09:50PM +0200, Frank Küster wrote:
> Hi,

Let's propose the following ammendment to your ammendment, or rather propose a
new point 4.

  4. We give priority to the timely release of Etch over sorting every bit out;
     for this reason, we will treat removal of problematic firmware as a
     best-effort process, and deliver firmware in debian kernel packages as well
     as installation packages (.udebs), as part of Debian Etch.
     We allow inclusion into etch, even if the license does not normally allow
     modification, as long as we are legally allowed to distribute them.
     We further note that some of these firmware do not have proper license,
     and as thus fall implicitly under the generic linux kernel GPL license.
     The sourceless nature of these firmwares make them de-facto
     non-distributable. Still, we extend the benefit of the doubt to those
     hardware vendors, who probably did not understand the implication of not
     adding a proper license for those firmwares, and will include them in
     Debian etch. We will work with those firmware vendors post-etch, to
     provide proper sources for those firmwares, to clarify their licenses, or
     to provide a statement that those are not actually programs, but plain
     register dumps.

This should be pretty clear, and once someone goes over the probably loads of
english errors in the above, i intent to propose this as a formal amendment to
Frederik's original proposal.

Notice though that even if those firmwares are plain register dumps, we
probably still need a proper license for them, as i doubt that the register
dumps we found in those drivers are any kind of "prefered form of
modification", even if we can aknowledge they are not 'programs'. Altough what
is a program ? Nothing else than a set of register dumps which happen to have
meaning for a generic processor. 


Sven Luther

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