The decision clearly shows what happens when purity takes a front-seat compared to pragmatism.
It's *logical*, but it does not make sense.
If a device acts a certain way because of the physical way its transistors are arranged, we can still write software to run on that device, and claim that the software is 100% free. (the device is not, but the software is).
If a device acts a certain way because the burned-in non-modifiable firmware that is part of it is, the situation is entirely parallell from the POV of the rest of the system. "it does this because -this- pin is connected to -that- pin" isn't functionally different from "it does this because -this- address in the firmware contains -that- value".
Thus, it makes sense to say the software on this device is also free.
This merely takes it one step closer. There's no functional difference between a device with non-changeable firmware, and a device with changeable firmware, wired up to a non-changeable non-controllable second device that *always* inject the same firmware.
Thus it makes sense to claim that this too, makes the device use fully free software.
The problem is that 100% free software is not the goal. Freedom, is the goal. So sure, if you take a non-free software-component and replace it with a non-free hardware-component, your software will be "purer". But the overall situation will not have improved.
You've got more free software - but less free hardware, the sum total being a slight negative.
You can ignore that, if you've got your eyes firmly glued to a small *part* of the overall picture though. If you're the free SOFTWARE foundation, it's easy to forget that +1 to software-freedom and -2 to hardware-freedom isn't a win.