[Fsf-Debian] A small thought on how Debian might be able to help.

Brian Gupta brian.gupta at brandorr.com
Fri Sep 5 16:32:25 UTC 2014

Debian Developers are employed at a wide variety of companies, some of
which ship products that depend on proprietary firmware blobs.

I'm wondering if there is any sense talking to some of these project
members to gain at least an understanding of why certain firmware
can't be freed. Intel comes to mind with the wifi firmware, and CPU

The goal would be to see if a dialog can be established with a hope
that by understanding why certain firmware isn't free, we can perhaps
work with the organization to help remove any blockers, and eventually
remove dependencies on proprietary blobs.

Obviously this would only work if said project members are willing,
but I can't see how this could hurt. e.g. - Has anyone ever spoken to
Keith Packard (on the TC) about why Intel can't free their blobs?

As an aside, how are certain wifi chipsets "FSF blessed"? Is it
because they keep any firmware on non-volatile storage (meaning no
blobs have to be delivered by OS) and not field upgradable, or is it
because they somehow provide sourcecode for the firmware, which
distros are free to compile into "free blobs"?


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