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Debian and FSF

This morning, FSF announced to the gnu.announce newsgroup that it was
no longer sponsoring Debian.

Ian Murdock, who was sponsored by FSF for a year, stepped down from the
project leader position some time ago so that he could spend more time
on school, work, and his family. The 60 other Debian developers, who
did not have FSF sponsorship, continue in their roles.

The Debian group is in sympathy with FSF's political and philosophical
goals. Our problem was with their technical direction. We've decided to
come to an amicable end to FSF sponsorship so that we can allow all
developers to participate in Debian as _peers_. FSF is invited to
participate on the same basis - at the same level as individuals, schools,
organizations, and companies that have put a lot of work into Debian.

Debian remains a non-profit organization dedicated to free software.
Our Linux system is entirely free. Anyone can redistribute it or sell
it on a CD-ROM, and you don't need our permission to do so. Thus, it's
available for FSF to distribute and use as a fund-raiser, etc.
We acknowledge the role of the GNU project in our system and like to
think of Debian as "Son of GNU".

We've been beta-testing Debian 1.1 with our active user community for
several weeks. Tomorrow we will widen the beta test to the entire
Internet. For information on the beta test, you can subscribe to the
mailing lists by sending the word "subscribe" to the following

        Very low-traffic list for major announcements.

        Debian package change announcements. Can have several messages a day.

        High-traffic list of user questions and answers.

I thank FSF and its leaders for dealing with this amicably.

        Bruce Perens
        Debian Project Leader

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