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Re: Installation: Load non-free wifi firmware (iwlwifi)

From: Mark H Weaver
Subject: Re: Installation: Load non-free wifi firmware (iwlwifi)
Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2018 18:05:43 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/25.3 (gnu/linux)

Hartmut Goebel <address@hidden> writes:

> Am 25.03.2018 um 07:34 schrieb Chris Marusich:
>> As Ludo mentioned elsewhere, using a dongle is one good option.  What
>> prevents you from using a dongle?
> Why should I punish myself just for to says "Hey, I'm using only free
> software"? This benefits nobody! [1]
> Please don't get me wrong: free software is to be preferred and we
> should push users and vendors towards it. But if for any reason one owns
> a device demanding non-free firmware, using e.g. a dongle would not
> benefit anybody.[1] The vendor already has the money. In contrary:
> buying a dongle adds to environmental pollution and sweating in poor
> countries.
> The only thing we achieve is distracting users from free software since
> it "doe not work".

I disagree.  We achieve something indispensible.  We make it far more
likely that the next time users purchase hardware, they will avoid
hardware that would require their operating system to include nonfree
software.  This creates incentives for the manufacturers to create
freedom-respecting hardware.

The alternative approach of including nonfree software in our OS, in
order to make non-freedom-respecting hardware "just work", makes this
problem invisible to most people, and thus creates no incentive for
users or manufacturers to change their behaviors at all.

This is not a small problem.  It's becoming increasingly difficult to
find any modern computer that can be operated without many megabytes of
nonfree software, in an age of ubiquitous surveillance that threatens
our democracies.  Please, we must not sweep this problem under the rug.


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