FSFLA: Linux kernel is "open core"
Posted Nov 9, 2010 1:17 UTC (Tue) by JoeBuck
In reply to: FSFLA: Linux kernel is "open core"
Parent article: FSFLA: Linux kernel is "open core"
A couple of points:
In the case of the "Open Core" business model, the developer is giving away the free software for the purpose of getting people to buy proprietary add-ons. However, the Linux kernel developers are not profiting from the firmware blobs in any way.
- And to the extent that a firmware blob loads itself into a separate processor (on a peripheral device), I don't believe that we are in a worse position, freedom-wise, than if the peripheral has its firmware in ROM. In fact, I would argue the reverse: the fact that new code can be loaded into the peripheral means that eventually some FLOSS programmer will figure out how to do it, while the device with its code in ROM is locked down harder than the most aggressive DRM system can achieve. It's better still if we have devices that are completely programmable all the way down, but there is more than one path to get there, and the purist approach advocated by the FSF and its international affiliates might not be the best path.
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