Potential nonfree code in Linux-libre

Legimet legimet.calc at gmail.com
Fri Aug 20 14:07:48 UTC 2021


On Fri, 20 Aug 2021 02:15:18 -0300
Alexandre Oliva <lxoliva at fsfla.org> wrote:

> That's not so surprising.  Debian has different standards.  They even
> have a different Free Software definition, that they apply equally to
> software, documentation, functional and non-functional data.
> We follow the original Free Software definition, as it applies to
> software and other works for practical use.  We don't mind
> non-executable configuration data, which leads to different decisions.

If you have a different standard, that's understandable (though I
disagree with allowing nonfree nonfunctional data). However, according
to the FSDG:

> “Information for practical use” includes software, documentation,
> fonts, and other data that has direct functional applications. It does
> not include artistic works that have an aesthetic (rather than
> functional) purpose, or statements of opinion or judgment.

I would argue that configuration data falls in the "information for
practical use" category, not artistic works or statements of opinion,
so it should fall under the FSDG. Furthermore, in the first two files,
the "data" is found in files with a GPL license header, and the GPL
requires all source code (in the preferred form for modification) to be

Anyway, at least micropatch.c is clearly microcode, so I don't see how
it can be justified for inclusion in Linux-libre. The other files are
perhaps debatable, so you may want to discuss with Ben Hutchings, who
would know more.


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