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Re: call for seconds: on firmware

On Sun, Nov 30, 2008 at 05:11:23PM -0800, Steve Langasek wrote:
> On Sat, Nov 15, 2008 at 09:45:56AM -0600, Debian Project Secretary wrote:
> > ,----[ Proposal 6: Exclude source requirements from firmware (defined) ]
> > | Firmware is data such as microcode or lookup tables that is loaded into
> > | hardware components in order to make the component function properly.
> > | It is not code that is run on the host CPU.
> > |
> > | Unfortunately such firmware often is distributed as so-called blobs,
> > | with no source or further documentation that lets us learn how it works
> > | or interacts with the hardware in question.  By excluding such firmware
> > | from Debian we exclude users that require such devices from installing
> > | our operating system, or make it unnecessarily hard for them.
> > |
> > | Therefore the Debian project resolves that
> > |  a) firmware in Debian does not have to come with source.  While we do
> > |     prefer firmware that comes with source and documentation we will not
> > |     require it,
> > |  b) we however do require all other freedoms that the DFSG mandate from
> > |     components of our operating system, and
> > |  c) such firmware can and should be part of our official installation media.
> > |
> > |  (Since this option overrides the SC, I believe it would require 3:1
> > |  majority)
> > `----
> >         This will need wording to change the SC, since this is not a
> >  temporary override, but adds a definition of firmware, and an exclusion
> >  from the 100% free promises of the SC. 
> >    i Do we require source for firmware in main:                 No
> >   ii Do we allow the Release Team to ignore SC violation bugs:  No
> >  iii What do we do for Lenny:                                   Release
> >   iV Do we modify foundation documents:                         Yes
> >    v Do we override foundation documents                        No
> In light of the Secretary's claims that the above GR would give him the
> power to amend the text of the DFSG even though it says nothing of the sort,
> I would ask that the proposer withdraw this resolution (which in effect is a
> non-binding position statement, contradicting the text of the DFSG as many
> of us understand it) and draft a resolution in its place that disambiguates
> the DFSG.

Peter, I too would prefer if you did, for the sake of clarity.  But if you
will, then please do it soon.  Minimal time for discussion period has passed,
and due to the urgency of the situation I don't want to wait much longer before
calling for vote.

Robert Millan

  The DRM opt-in fallacy: "Your data belongs to us. We will decide when (and
  how) you may access your data; but nobody's threatening your freedom: we
  still allow you to remove your data and not access it at all."

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