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A summary of the current firmware GRs (Was: Summary? (Or: my vote is for sale!))

On Mon, Oct 02, 2006 at 09:36:09PM +0200, Adrian von Bidder wrote:
> Yodel!
> With the first (?) CfV out now about non-free kernel firmwares:
> I'm not going to vote, sorry.  I don't have the time to wade through tons of 
> mailing list archives, of which 1/3 is repetitions of previously made 
> statements, 1/3 is presumably flames or close to it, and 1/3 is trivial 
> corrections, with the few substantial arguments scattered in it...
> In short: did anybody do a reasonably balanced and concise writeup about 
> what is going on on the firmware front regarding
>  - what are the important arguments and counter-arguments?
>  - who supports which options?

More information can be found at the start of :


Including the last draft at a consensual GR proposal following Frederik's
original proposal, as well as a draft of the position statement by the
debian-kernel team regarding these issues.

As i understand, the proposal currently under vote, namely the one from Don
Armstrong, is basically a no-op reaffirming our commitment to the current
wording of the SC, namely that firmware code is indeed to be considered a
program, and affected by the DFSG.

Of the remaining proposals under vote, only 2 have reached enough seconds, and
need to be considered. These are :

  1) The proposal of the kernel team (and hopefully the RM and d-i team will
  join in with the final version of it), which have us remove from etch all
  firmware which are non-distributable, but keep those firmwares which are
  otherwise non-free, as well as those who lack a license file, and are thus
  implicitly under the GPL, but lack source. This is a commitment for etch,
  and the kernel team hopes that this will be solved for etch+1.

  2) The proposal made by Josselin, which basically proposes that we don't
  require the source code for firmwares 'as long as there are no other
  technical means to install and run the Debian system on these devices',
  which is a longer lasting proposal, since it may extend to etch+1 and

(I feel that in the end both proposals are mostly identic, except that the
first one is explicitly mentioning etch, and that the second one is more long
termed. Josselin, do you think you could reword your proposal as an amendment
to the final draft based on Frederik's proposal, instead of the now defunct
proposal from Steve).

I hope this clarifies things for you and others.


Sven Luther

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