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

On Thu, Oct 05, 2006 at 05:04:32PM +1000, Anthony Towns wrote:
> On Wed, Oct 04, 2006 at 10:49:35AM +0200, Sven Luther wrote:
> > On Wed, Oct 04, 2006 at 06:12:38PM +1000, Anthony Towns wrote:
> > > On Tue, Oct 03, 2006 at 07:20:35PM +0200, Sven Luther wrote:
> > > > Anthony, this is bullshit. 
> > > Sven, if the GPL prohibits us from distributing the code, we (which is
> > > to say ftpmaster) won't distribute it. There's no way of phrasing a GR
> > > to change that.
> > Well, i agree with you to a point, but as everyone intent to distribute those
> > sourceless GPLed firmwares even if they are non-distributable, i cannot accept
> > the above claim.
> It doesn't really matter what you can accept or not; we have a very
> firm policy of not breaking the law by distributing copyrighted stuff
> in violation of their license.

Indeed, so we need to strip those GPLed firmwares ? 

> What we don't have is a policy of not distributing copyright stuff
> because Sven Luther thinks the license is being violated.

Yeah, but it is not only me, Larry has made a study, and with his knowledge of
the firmware issue, he has strong suspisions, that this is inded so, and
current replies from debian-legal seem to support us (altough there are not
many such).

> I don't think it's worth further delaying this vote to include this

Anthony, this is a strong breach of thrust. When you asked me to delay my
original call for vote, it was to achieve a consensual proposal, and even if
you claimed widely on d-d-a that there was such a consensus reached, this is
not the case. I think the original proposal from Frederik is ways better than
the one proposed by Manoj, and yesterday evening still we where working with
Frederik on finding a consensual text, which you can see at : 


and which i asked you yesterday on irc to review, without any kind of
feedback. I also attach it to this email, for the lazy folk who don't want to
fire up their browser, i am still a bit dissatisfied with the second sentence
of point 3., which overlaps point 4. upto a point.

> position statement; as per [0] the minimum discussion period for Manoj's
> amendment as accepted by Frederik [1] ended 4th Oct 2006 19:53:58 UTC,
> which is about 11 hours ago; so we could get on with calling for a vote
> and have this over and done with in a little over a week if the proposers
> and seconders are willing. 

I don't think so, it is my understanding that Manoj's amendment has not
reached enough seconds for the vote to go on.

> A position statement (and press release or similar) to get the ball
> rolling on encouraging driver/firmware developers to make original source
> code available under a DFSG license can happen at the same time, and be
> done even sooner.

Maybe, but i still think we should be clear in the GR, and not be coupable of
willfully hiding our head in the sand, as it is happening now.

Anyway, here is the full proposal, comments are welcome :

  1. We affirm that our Priorities are our users and the free software
     community (Social Contract #4);

  2. We acknowledge that there is a lot of progress in the kernel firmware
     issue, both upstream and in the debian packaging; however, it is not
     yet finally sorted out;

  3. 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 the debian linux kernel
     package as well as installer components (.udebs), as part of Debian Etch.

  4. We allow inclusion into etch, even if the license does not normally allow
     modification, as long as we are legally allowed to distribute them.

  5. 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.
     We will include these firmware in etch and review them after the release.
     Vendors of GPLed firmware are advised to investigate the licensing terms,
     and make sure the GPL distribution conditions are respected, especially
     with regards to source availability.


Sven Luther

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