FSFLA: Linux kernel is "open core"
Posted Nov 12, 2010 14:45 UTC (Fri) by dwmw2
In reply to: FSFLA: Linux kernel is "open core"
Parent article: FSFLA: Linux kernel is "open core"
I gave some examples hard drives and ACPI. Those drivers could reasonably by marked by your CONFIG_NONFREE option too.
Going back to my laptop
I don't see why it's reasonable to assume that I've accepted the non-free firmware which is built in; I may not even know that it's there. Many people don't even think about firmware as a separate entity; they know only of the operating system, and the hardware.
On the other hand, my laptop was also delivered with non-free firmware for the wireless card, which was bundled within binary driver in the preinstalled operating system. You can tell that I've accepted that, because otherwise I wouldn't have run the b43-fwcutter tool, and the firmware blob wouldn't be present in my /lib/firmware directory.
What you're doing is trying to make the kernel NOT EVEN LOOK at the latter case where I have clearly and explicitly accepted the non-free firmware, while still blindly accepting the former case where you only have a fairly dubious assumption that I'm OK with it.
If I run your kernel, you are preventing me from using that wireless firmware that was already in my system when I bought it; you're not just avoiding the inducement.
Really, if it's just about the *inducement* then all you need to do is disable the automatic PackageKit trigger which makes it go looking for a firmware file that it can't find locally. You don't need to break the kernel so that it can no longer use firmware blobs that the user has installed on their system. And you don't need to push policies into the kernel where they don't belong, and where the information required to implement them is not available.
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