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Re: Apologies and the Debian Social Contract

On Sat, 15 Nov 1997, Paul J Thompson wrote:

> 3.  I think it is a good idea but it would take some bit of work:
> Splitting the non-free tree into non-dfsg and non-free.
> What the heck am I talkiing about:  non-dfsg would contain the non-free 
> software tree packages which could legally be put onto a Debian CD.  non-free 
> would contain those packages which, without a shadow of a doubt and more then 
> anything, could not be put on a cd.  And, of course, all  non-DFSG compliant 
> packages would still have to go down this road.

Whether or not I agree with your reasoning, there are important
reasons why we did not want to do this in the  past.  We do not wish to
take responsibility for stating whether packages in non-free are okay to
distribute on a CD.  If we do so, we open ourselves up to potential
liability due to poorly written or poorly interpreted licensing.  Many of
us expressed concern over this in the past.

> Reasoning:  This would "satisfactorily" without a shadow of a doubt prove that
> a) we really hold no "we hate you cause you're not DFSG compliant" feelings 
> toward the non-dfsg packages and their authors
> b) more importantly, it would prove that we, as stated in DSC section 4, "we 
> will be guided by the needs of our users and the free-software community".  It 
> would make the "ok for a cd" packages still available for cd users and non-ftp 
> available/convenient people, but would still respect our relationship with 
> free software.

In all seriousness, why don't you consider setting up a non-DFSG inclusive
CD image separate from the core Debian archive.  You could likely convince
many mirror sites to include this image.

Why is it so important to you that we (i.e. Debian) do this work for you
if it's what you want?

As far as your other points, I have no objections off hand.  However, I
would like to propose that we set annual dates (only once per year) for
consideration of the revision of the SC and the DFSG.  That way, we won't
have to hash this out continuously when any new member chooses to make
some subtle point into a crusade.  Please don't be offended.  It's just
that I've seen every one of your arguments before, most of them several
times.  Also, there are a few others such as Christoff and Alex who jump
at any opportunity to press their minority agendas which just serves to
consume our lists with the same old debate.

Thanks.  Syrus.


Syrus Nemat-Nasser <syrus@ucsd.edu>    UCSD Physics Dept.

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