It's subscriber only content on lwn for the next week. I'm not going to
reproduce it here for various reasons, but I'll copy and paste little
bits of it.
The first of these is that the copyright status of many of these modules
is ambiguous at best.
Binary modules are, by their nature, platform-specific.
When binary modules have bugs, there is no way to even track them down,
much less fix them.
Closed-source modules break when the system is upgraded.
Binary-only modules lack transparency;
Binary only modules hold back development of the kernel. When a new
feature comes along, if it breaks binary only drivers, users complain.
It is thus in the interest of all users to discourage proprietary
modules. It is not a question of irrational allergies to end-user
license agreements or free software fundamentalism; it is, instead, a
matter of creating the most stable and capable kernel possible.
Maintained by the ILUG website team. The aim of Linux.ie is to
support and help commercial and private users of Linux in Ireland. You can
display ILUG news in your own webpages, read backend
information to find out how. Networking services kindly provided by HEAnet, server kindly donated by
Dell. Linux is a trademark of Linus Torvalds,
used with permission. No penguins were harmed in the production or maintenance
of this highly praised website. Looking for the
Indian Linux Users' Group? Try here. If you've read all this and aren't a lawyer: you should be!