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Re: [libreplanet-discuss] Free software and open hardware

From: alexus / dotcommon
Subject: Re: [libreplanet-discuss] Free software and open hardware
Date: Thu, 31 May 2012 18:33:52 +0200
User-agent: webmail

Il 31.05.2012 18:03 Niels Serup ha scritto:

1. Free software is more important than free hardware design, because it
   is more useful. Free hardware design is still important.
2. Free software cannot be compared with free hardware design, because
   software is very different from hardware. Both are simply
   important. There is no ordering.

In both cases, free hardware design is important.

I agree with conclusion 2. Hardware shouldn't be "punished" for being
difficult to copy; just because it does not give me as many practical
advantages as software, it is still just as important.

I do, however, understand the pragmatism behind choosing conclusion 1.

In my personal opinion, free software and free hardware are both relevant. More, there are many other general aspects which are relevant: formats, standards, copyright, patents, privacy... and other political and social points...

And they are ALL relevant the same way: freedom is something basically non-technical, and is dinamically related to relationships... it means self-definition and self-determination of ourself and of our ways of expression, as individuals and within self-organized and self-managed relationships among people... so freedom cannot be divided in separate chunks

In the end, believing that something is x important or x + y important (where x is the level of importance and y is positive) probably matters
little in the case of non-open hardware, as we have to rely on
manufacturers if we want to use electronics. We can write free
replacements, but those will have to be produced.

if in dubt of the importance and implications of free hardware respect to our freedom, please see also:

Schneier on Security: Backdoor Found (Maybe) in Chinese-Made Military Silicon Chips

Chinese Cyberwarriors in your Chips? - Unscrewing Security

Silicon backdoor: not an international crisis • The Register

Latest news on my hardware security research

al3xu5 / dotcommon

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