[Fsf-Debian] few arguments to FSF

Bryan Baldwin bryan at katofiad.co.nz
Sat Aug 11 03:48:01 UTC 2012

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On 08/10/2012 03:04 PM, Dmitry Smirnov wrote:
> Let me explain this point. GPL aims to protect freedoms but in some
> cases restrictions imposed by GPL may threaten the very existence
> of project. FSF recognises such cases and as a compromise they
> created LGPL just to guarantee some essential rights but not more.

This is a case where the law is distinctly incompatible with
technology. The analogy between the LGPL and contrib/nonfree is only
similar in that they are somewhat reciprocal of one another. LGPL
provides a shim for free works to proliferate with nonfree works.
Contrib/nonfree provides a shim for nonfree works to proliferate with
free works. The former is sometimes beneficial to freedom where the
latter isn't.

The battle between free and nonfree is now old enough for both sides
to see that erosion is trending in their direction rather then ours.
Which is to say that left solely to the devices we know, we would make
freedom faster then they could make unfreedom. The trouble will come
when we aren't using devices we know anymore. Which will mean that
neither software nor the licenses it comes under are going to be the
weapons of choice in this generation of the war.

I have suspected from the beginning that the reason for this
collaboration is specifically because some persons representing either
Debian or the FSF have realized that this is true. With Windows 8, TC,
and restricted boot imminent, the question over whether Debian would
be as popular or not if it didn't work on the hardware that requires
nonfree firmware and drivers becomes moot when the free firmware,
drivers, or programs of any kind that we do have can be blocked
arbitrarily on the hardware of the future.
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