Re: non-DFSG section and CD distributers
> Paul J Thompson <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
> [ Reordered to something sane ]
> > > In the process I came to the conclusion that "non-free" is a
> > > misleading term - maybe it should be renamed "non-dfsg". A fair
> > > number of packages in there are free, just not as "free" as we
> > > would like them to be. I'll probably get flamed by lots of GPL
> > > people, but I don't have a problem with someone who wants to
> > > protect their hard work.
> > Short and simply, I second this suggestion. Anyone else agree?
> Most definitely not.
> Debian has a definition of free, it's in the Debian Free Software
> Guidelines. Software which is not free by that definition goes into
> the non-free section on our ftp site. It's in non-free on *Debian's*
> ftp site, because it isn't considered free by Debian. What's the
> problem here?
> James - DFSG. Why are there developers who a) haven't read it? and b)
> appear to be opposed or completely apathetic to the
> fundamental idea behind it (free software)? *sigh*
The question is how strongly folks want to discourage the use of
software the does not comply with DFSG. There is software in non-free
that could be legally distributed on CD's without cost.
By calling it "non-free" (per DFSG), mixing it with software that
cannot be legally distributed on CD's without cost, and excluding it
from the "official" CD, we are discouraging it's use.
My impression is that a vocal group of Debian developers _want_ to
discourage the use of non-DFSG software. I think there is a fear that
non-DFSG software may become popular, and threaten the existence of
"truly free" software.
(I think the sometimes venomous opposition to Qt is a result of this
fear. Motif seems to be perceived as less of a threat, so it is
slightly more tolerated, even though it's licensing is more restrictive
Personally, I think we could be a little more friendly to non-DFSG cost
free software, and that it would not threaten the goals of the Debian
Free Software Guidelines. For instance we could identify software in
non-free that could be placed on CD without cost, and then make it easy
for CD distributors to do so. The official Debian distribution would
still be completely DFSG compliant, but additional software would be
available for those who may need it.
A more tolerant attitude might guard against Debian being perceived as
dogmatic in it's idealism.
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