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Re: General Resolution: Removing non-free

On Wed, Jun 07, 2000 at 07:25:34PM -0400, Ben Collins wrote:
> > > No, it would be like a Health Store that sold normal food because they
> > > needed to support it since there were no alternative Healthy foods
> > > available at the time. Then after some time, that Health Food store
> > > decided to get rid of those Non-Healthy foods since Health Food became
> > > very popular and had good alternatives to those unhealthy foods. :)
> > 
> > So if you follow those arguments, remove the packages that have
> > good, at-least-equally functional free replacements from non-free,
> > and leave the ones which don't.
> That was not my argument, just a comment to an anology. I'm personally

I'm not saying it was, just suggesting it as a possibility.

> against having such things in Debian simply because there isn't a
> replacement. In fact, I believe that giving them a non-free alternative
> makes people less likely to test and help with a free alternative. Just
> look at the KDE/QT2 license issue. Someone wants it in Debian so bad they
> are willing to pay KDE to make the appropriate changes. Now you could
> argue this is a legal issue, or some will argue it is a moral one. Either
> way, our stand seems to be making waves.
> Don't you think taking a stand for what is morally right is more important
> than a legal issue? If yes, then the KDE problem is of less significance
> than the non-free one, and we should take a bigger stand.

I think the KDE license issue is a very serious one, both legally and
morally: from what I understand, the KDE people are releasing code
which breaks the terms of the GPL.  Now that's a legal issue, but if
we don't make a stand, then the world will get the message "it doesn't
matter if we ignore the conditions of the GPL" and the whole
foundation of the Free Software movement will be at risk: people will
start incorporating GPL code into proprietary software, with no fear
of repercussion.  How can we stand back and allow this to happen?
(And this is a moral issue, because people have created something and
given it out under certain conditions, and their wishes are being

On the other hand, it's not clear at all that removing non-free
software from Debian is "morally right".  Under what moral system do
you claim this?



  Julian Gilbey, Dept of Maths, QMW, Univ. of London. J.D.Gilbey@qmw.ac.uk
        Debian GNU/Linux Developer,  see http://www.debian.org/~jdg
  Donate free food to the world's hungry: see http://www.thehungersite.com/

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