FSFLA: Linux kernel is "open core"
Posted Nov 12, 2010 21:16 UTC (Fri) by dwmw2
In reply to: FSFLA: Linux kernel is "open core"
Parent article: FSFLA: Linux kernel is "open core"
I think you misunderstood the situation with the b43 non-free firmware.
Broadcom are not giving permission for anyone to distribute that firmware for use with Linux, because of their crack-inspired concerns about regulatory stuff. Its presence in /lib/firmware is an indicator that the user has manually extracted it from a Windows or Mac OS driver and installed it there. When I talked about it coming with the hardware, that's because it was in the preinstalled copy of OS X. Not because it would ever be found in any pre-installed Linux system.
No, I won't help you get any of your suggestions into the upstream kernel. As I've already said, it doesn't belong in the kernel. It can be done in the userspace loader so much more easily, where the licensing information is actually available.
I just don't agree with your claim that the simple udev event which triggers the userspace firmware loader is equivalent to inducing the user to use non-free software. I find it completely insane. It would be perfectly acceptable just to refuse the firmware request in userspace where we have the required licensing information and can implement the policy the user desires.
And whatever you said, unless I'm missing a technical detail your scheme has actually broken the drivers. I could no longer use my b43 wireless card without actually rebuilding the kernel to undo your damage.
Seriously, Alexandre, just do it in udev.
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