[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Corrected message ?

Andrew Martin Adrian Cater <amacater@galactic.demon.co.uk> writes:

> Non-US is a misnomer, as stated earlier: what I wanted to do was to
> emphasise that the Debian distribution is essentially "main".

Wrong, main is determined as DFSG-free software.

> I think you can divide Debian into two: main == absolutely unrestricted,
> absolutely free in DFSG terms, free for redistribution, not needing
> anything outside itself for functionality.

main == DFSG-free, nothing more or less - see the DFSG for the definition
of free for redistribution.

> Everything else is to some extent not free in each of the above senses:
> contrib and non-free and non-US each have some restrictions.  Although
> the code in some packages in non-US may be DFSG free (such that these
> would be OK for main) government restriction means its not fully free:
> in each of the above three senses.  If Manoj is sitting in the States
> and is developing and exporting e.g. PGP he might be liable to
> government action, whatever his views of that.  It may be free software
> - but he's not at liberty to use it freely and redistribute it by
> re-export.

Government restriction?? and which government would that be.. the US
Government by any chance? In the majority of countries around the world,
many non-US packages are perfectly DFSG free. You are thinking of this
from a very US-centric point of view. I'm sure Manoj would not export PGP,
so let's leave the hypotheticals out of it. His liberty is restricted by
the country he chooses to live in (the US).

> I do think that there are situations where it's difficult to draw
> the free/non-free line.  I think _only_ main is unconditionally free
> for use - if I were giving someone a set of Debian CD's, I could give
> them main knowing that main is self consistent and complete in itself.

No, again I point out that main is determined by the DFSG. It cannot take
into account the vagaries of local law, it would be impossible to

> I'd like to see a "Restricted" tag rather than non-US (and a clear
> explanation of why contrib is contrib, that it requires non-free
> software for functionality).

The clear explanation of why contrib is contrib is in the Debian Policy
Manual, section 2. Also you might review the DFSG, also in that section.
You might also learn that contrib may be used for packages that are
considered too buggy.

> Yes, I have read the DFSG: sorry for extending the flamewar.

No, I think you need to reread and reconsider the DFSG more carefully.
If my tone has sounded a little irritated, it is because this issue was done
to death in a lengthy thread in the past few months on debian-devel. You
might wish to review it in the list archives, and gain a greater appreciation
of all the issues.


Reply to: