Fedora not "free" enough for GNU?

Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams ivazqueznet at gmail.com
Fri Sep 19 13:59:49 UTC 2008

On Thu, 2008-09-18 at 08:58 -0400, jude ui wrote:
> And to repharse my question - Can't you guys reselse the firmware as
> opensource - are they prosperity drivers? (correct me if I'm wrong)

The firmware is not Fedora's to release. The hardware vendor releases it
as a binary blob due to at least one of 3 concerns:

1) Regulatory issues

Hardware vendors need to prevent end-users from modifying the firmware
so that the hardware can not be driven outside legal ranges.

2) Intellectual "Property" issues

Hardware vendors don't want other hardware vendors to know how they run
their hardware so that their design can't be copied or stolen.

3) Inability to build

Firmware is usually code for some PLD or ASIC, which needs specialized
(and EXPENSIVE) compilers to build. Most people are unlikely to be able
to turn the source into the firmware.

Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams <ivazqueznet at gmail.com>

PLEASE don't CC me; I'm already subscribed
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