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RFC: Final version of kernel team's firmware GR proposal, coined to be consensual to all those of good faith involved in the current discussion.


I paste here the last instance of the draft proposal by the debian kernel team
[1]. Well, mostly me and Frederik, with direct input from Manoj, and reflecting
assorted comments from others, Steve and Anthony being the most prominent ones.

Please review this, especially with regard to english spelling, and comment.
This will probably be the last round of comments before we propose the
resolution for vote.

As the DPL asked us, the resolution was coined to achieve maximum consensus by
all parties involved in this discussion, both those wanting to keep the
firmware in, those wanting everything purged and those with more nuanced
opinions. It also reflects the result of the irc meeting held last saturday
about this issue, and the subsequent draft position statement of the kernel
team [2]. So, we are asking a maximum number of persons of the three involved
teams (debian-kernel, RM and debian-installer) to second this proposal.

As for proposers of alternative proposals, i urge you to read this proposal,
and if it overlaps your own proposal, to retire your proposals, in order to
present a strong consensus to the voters.

========================== START OF PROPOSAL ========================== 
Definition: For the purpose of this resolution, the "firmware" mentioned below
design binary data encoded as hexdumps in some of the linux kernel drivers and
whose purpose is to be loaded into a given piece of hardware, and be run
outside the main memory space of the main processor(s).

  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.

  4. We allow inclusion of such firmware into Debian Etch, even if their 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 individual license,
     and thus implicitly fall under the generic linux kernel GPL license.
     We will include these firmware in Debian Etch and review them after the
     release. Vendors of such firmware are advised to investigate the licensing
     terms, and make sure the GPL distribution conditions are respected,
     especially with regards to source availability.

  6. We will include those firmware into the debian linux kernel package as well
     as the installer components (.udebs) used by the debian-installer.
==========================  END OF PROPOSAL  ========================== 

On behalf of the other proposal crafters,


Sven Luther

[1] - http://wiki.debian.org/KernelFirmwareLicensing#head-bf5edfa54af87d70d2f39f434703848b55569eef
[2] - http://wiki.debian.org/KernelFirmwareLicensing#head-98e7641feaea08b775f4d5c58d071b77ff172c90

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