The Linspire Linux distribution gets a lot of attention for its so-called pragmatic view on device drivers. The idea seems to be that making an easy-to-install and easy-to-use Linux distribution and getting many people to use it will be good for Linux and open source and free software.
I do agree that the more people who use free software, the greater the argument for hardware manufacturers to provide drivers.
However, Linspire’s approach is a mistake, at least in part.
By taking the pragmatic approach and using binary-only drivers without notifying the user of the risks, Linspire does nothing to educate its users about the benefits of open drivers, nor does it increase the demand for open drivers.
(The point of having open drivers is transparency, maintainability, portability, and reliability. With a binary blob, you or your friendly kernel or distribution maintainer cannot debug problems, fix bugs, support newer versions, add features, or tell if the driver or hardware is doing something you find unacceptable.)
It’s not bad for Linspire to make binary drivers available legally. The problem is pretending that binary drivers are good for users.
For more information, LXer has a good discussion on Linspire’s misguided pragmatism and Federico Biancuzzi’s OpenBSD 3.9 Developer Interview explores the topic from OpenBSD’s point of view.