> I'm sorry, but showing the firmware into ROM and sealing it up doesn't give any more freedom, it just takes freedom away.
Sure. But who's saying otherwise? They haven't said that they think that burning stuff into hardware creates a net increase in user freedom (or if they have, I'd appreciate a link!). They've said that it's enough to satisfy the specific rules of the "the software in this device is free" endorsement, because it does an end-run around their definition of "software".
If you really think that the FSF likes the idea of making software unmodifiable, then how do you explain their controversial insistence on anti-Tivoization language in GPLv3?
> If they had taken this stand on the beginning, nobody would ever have heard of them
I'm not sure what stand you're attributing to them, but yes, I think we can agree that if there was no such thing as software then indeed no-one would have heard of the FSF.