Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 9th Nov 2010 22:24 UTC, submitted by koki
GNU, GPL, Open Source Now this is interesting. We see what is at its core a very valid concern, in practice not a problem to anyone, and, thanks to the tone of the press release, close to trolling. The Free Software Foundation Latin America is complaining about something that has been known for a while - there is some non-Free code stuck in the Linux kernel (mostly firmware). A valid issue of concern from an idealogical viewpoint, but sadly, the tone of the press release turns this valid concern into something close to trolling.
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The firmware is often bundled into the driver so when Windows folk think of "driver" they are thinking "driver + firmware injected when driver loads". The driver is no use without the firmware and the firmware may make the hardware work but without a driver...

To make matters worse, when you ask a manufacturer why they don't provide an open source driver "we do not own all the relevant patents" or "the driver contains trade secrets" which boils down to "the firmware is bundled into the driver and we won't separate the two".

It's not such a surprise that people consider firmware part of the driver.

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