Aaron Whitehouse wrote:
> On 16/04/2008, Mark Shuttleworth <email@example.com> wrote:
>> The "current and future" thread on this list has got me thinking. Perhaps
>> we really are on the wrong track, that the only way to meet the needs of the
>> gNewSense folks is to have completely different source packages to Ubuntu.
> While I can see the philosophical rationale behind making this point,
> the reality is that I personally download very little source code. For
> me, binary blobs in the source trees isn't a big issue as I do not
> download the "offending" code.
Those same binary blobs are also included in the binary packages, not
just in source trees.
(There might be some cases where the binary blobs are included only in
source trees, because Ubuntu includes full source, even pieces they
remove before compilation.)
> If I understand the issue correctly, people are complaining that the
> software is on their machines, uncompiled and not being executed.
> I find it difficult to see an ethical issue with this - does this mean
> that I don't have software freedom because I have an unused CD of
> proprietary software in my house? Please let me know if I have
> misunderstood the issue.
Speaking of sourceless firmware, the software is in compiled form, and
will get executed if you happen to have any hardware which requires it.
If you don't have any such hardware, then it would remain unexecuted.
(Personally I'm most concerned about *undistributable* code. These are
pieces of code whose license doesn't seem to give the right to
distribute. So, since Ubuntu includes such code, it's quite possible
that distributing Ubuntu is illegal.
I hope you see the ethical issue in breaking the copyright law by
distributing software for which you don't have the permission from the
copyright holder to distribute.)
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