I agree w/ you, and the same argument goes for software. RMS and the FSF supporters tell us that we need the source code for the 4 GNU freedoms. Well, even hardware - particularly at chip level - has hardware description languages, or HDL code that defines it, both in a structural level and behavioral level. Yet, the same people argue that they are circuits, since they cannot be changed. Why not? Just get the HDL code, put it on an FPGA, and recode it whenever needed.
For the record, I agree w/ the Open Source guys - focus on the advantages of FOSS code, and accommodate the business modifications needed to the licenses. That's the pragmatic approach, as opposed to the Copyleft cult of the FSF. And I have no problems w/ binary blobs, or closed drivers, or exceptions to the FOSS rule.