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Re: call for seconds: on firmware

On Sat, Nov 15, 2008 at 09:45:56AM -0600, Debian Project Secretary wrote:
> ,----[ Proposal 5: allow Lenny to release with firmware blobs ]
> |  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; most of the issues that were outstanding at the time of the
> |     last stable release have been sorted out. However, new issues in the
> |     kernel sources have cropped up fairly recently, and these new issues
> |     have not yet been addressed;
> |
> |  3. We assure the community that there will be no regressions in the
> |     progress made for freedom in the kernel distributed by Debian
> |     relative to the Etch release in Lenny (to the best of our knowledge
> |     as of 1 November 2008);

> |  4. We give priority to the timely release of Lenny over sorting every
> |     bit out; for this reason, we will treat removal of sourceless
> |     firmware as a best-effort process, and deliver firmware as part of
> |     Debian Lenny as long as we are legally allowed to do so, and the
> |     firmware  is distributed upstream under a license that complies
> |     with the DFSG. 
> `----

>  * This proposal gives the binary blobs distributed in the kernel
>    the benefit of doubt, and assumes they do not violate the GPL and are
>    the preferred form of modification, however unlikely that is.

Nothing in the text of your proposal says anything about "assum[ing] they do
not violate the GPL".  This summary, and the title given on
<http://www.debian.org/vote/2008/vote_003>, are incorrect. 

- The text of this option (and of the GR passed on this subject for etch)
  stipulates that we will only deliver the firmware if "we are legally   
  allowed to do so".  If the governing license is the GPL, it's not legal to
  redistribute firmware that we don't have the source for.  Therefore this  
  proposal does not have the effect you claim.

- The firmware that's actually at issue - both for etch and now - is
  firmware distributed with the Linux kernel whose stated license is *not*
  the GPL.  The release team is not seeking to "play dumb" regarding the
  GPL's license requirements; the only aim here is to include, in main,
  certain recently-noticed firmware blobs whose license meets the
  requirements of the DFSG but for which we don't have source code.

- Regardless of any titles or summaries tacked onto this proposal, the text
  of it authorizes the release team to include firmware in main for lenny
  that does not comply with DFSG#2 - the same as the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th
  proposals.  The same majority requirements must be applied to each.

The majority requirement for the ballot option in
http://www.debian.org/vote/2006/vote_007 with the exact same wording as in 4.
above was 1:1.  The majority requirement for all of these four proposals on
the present vote should be the same.

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer                                    http://www.debian.org/
slangasek@ubuntu.com                                     vorlon@debian.org

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