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Re: The Multimedia Question

On 7/19/07, Tom spot Callaway <tcallawa redhat com> wrote:

On Thu, 2007-07-19 at 14:04 -0400, Bill Nottingham wrote:
> Tom spot Callaway (tcallawa redhat com) said:
> > > Is helping desktop users outside of the ideology of Fedora?
> >
> > I would argue that we're not helping them when they end up with
> > proprietary junk on their system.
> >
> > Users may not care. We care.
> See: firmware. Oh wait, we like that!

I don't like the fact that we have to have firmware without source.
However, firmware is a far more necessary evil than enabling Windows
Media file support.

Firmware is also something that should've been done on the hardware in a
perfect world, WMV support is a little different.

It really isn't that different; hardware I can't boot is only
minimally different from hardware I can boot but can't use with the
data I need/want to access.

And whether or not firmware is software or not is completely, totally
irrelevant; it is modifiable and it impacts how people control and use
their computers and their data. That makes it a freedom issue. You can
hide it under semantic blankets if it makes you feel better, but you
*have* made a strategic compromise of user freedom in order to help

The sooner you figure out how to draw real and meaningful boundaries
around that compromise instead of bullshit like 'it isn't software, so
therefore it is alright', the better off we'll all be. As soon as you
have *meaningful* lines instead of semantic hedges, you can actually
start to answer questions about things like codecs in a meaningful
way, instead of having a dramatic and surreal dance around the issues
every time it comes up, as it is about to (again) around non-free web
services, and already has with drivers, firmware, codecs, etc., etc.


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