Freedom is supposed to enable users.
Requiring that a Free OS only interoperate with
other Free OSs would be a hideous violation of
the underlying concept of the Internet.
The point is that the other machine is a different
work. The GPL software is supposed to be able
to interoperate with it.
If a device with firmware in ROM is a different
work, then it should not lose its unique identity
merely because it bootstraps its firmware instead.
Any more than a remote machine loses its independent
status when it uses DHCP.
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