Re: General Resolution: Removing non-free
FWIW, although I'm just returning from vacation and have not yet read the
entire thread, or made up my mind about how I'd vote on this, I am sure
that the changes Branden suggests are eminently sensible. I doubt I'd
ever vote for this proposal without such changes.
Branden Robinson wrote:
> On Tue, Jun 06, 2000 at 10:17:18PM -0500, John Goerzen wrote:
> > This is a formal call for sponsers for the below proposed Debian
> > General Resolution in accordance with section 4.2 of the Debian
> > Constitution.
> I more or less agree, but I would like your feedback on some points before
> I offer a second.
> > Debian General Resolution
> > Resolved:
> > A. That the Debian Social Contract with the Free Software Community be
> > amended as follows:
> > 1. That mentions of non-free be stricken from Section 5, and text be
> > inserted, the remainder to read: "We acknowledge that some of our
> > users require the use of programs that don't conform to the Debian
> > Free Software Guidelines. Our contrib area may help with this
> > software."
> I'm not sure we need to say anything about this at all. Furthermore, I
> think there is some possible ambiguity caused by taking two of your
> statements together:
> "Our contrib area may help with this software."
> "we will neither make the system depend upon nor distribute an item of
> non-free software."
> It's clear that many people, especially outside Debian, do not fully grasp
> the fact that contrib and non-free do not enjoy "official" status as Debian
> packages. Your proposal would eliminate the ambiguity for non-free but it
> would remain for contrib.
> I don't suggest that we scrap contrib; it's free software, after all.
> I suggest amending A.1) to just this:
> 1. That mentions of non-free be stricken from Section 5.
> As you said, the social contract is a contract with the free software
> community. Non-free software is, by definition, not part of that
> community. Therefore it need not be directly addressed.
> I do think that we can say all we need to say about non-free software via a
> tackling of the contrib issue.
> > 2. That Section 1 be amended such that the final sentence reads: "We
> > will support our users who develop and run non-free software on
> > Debian, but we will neither make the system depend upon nor distribute
> > an item of non-free software. Debian may continue to distribute
> > non-free software previously distributed via its FTP site prior to the
> > woody distribution."
> I would reword the first sentence as follows:
> "We will neither make the system depend upon nor distribute software that
> fails to meet our free software guidelines; however, we will support users
> of our system who develop and run non-free software."
> This may seem like a subtle distinction, but I think it correctly arranges
> the emphasis. The fact that we don't turn up our noses at users or VAR's
> who put non-free software on top of a Debian system is a clarification of
> our policy that we exclude non-free software from our own project, not the
> other way around.
> Our Social Contract should make it clear that we have no particular opinion
> of non-free software generally; it simply is not our mission to support it.
> It is the obligation of the authors/licensors of non-free software to
> support it. We support free software because it is one way that we
> contribute back to, and support the continued viability of, the free
> software community.
> Furthermore, I strongly suggest you eliminate any temporal references to
> particular distributions or timelines. The statement "Debian may continue
> to distribute non-free software previously distributed via its FTP site
> prior to the woody distribution." is best made a separate part of this
> resolution and not codified into the Social Contract; after woody is
> released, this language would simply be an artifact without force.
> > B. That the non-free section be removed from woody on all Debian
> > archives, and that all packages so placed there in accordance with the
> > definition in Policy section 2.1.4 be removed from the Distribution.
> > The introduction into Debian of any package meeting the non-free
> > definition in Policy section 2.1.4, or failing the Debian Free
> > Software Guidelines, shall be permanently banned.
> s/permanently banned/forbidden/
> "Permanently banned", I think, could be construed to mean that a given
> piece of software could be kept out of Debian even after its license
> changed from a non-DFSG-compliant status to a DFSG-free one. Most Debian
> developers would not make this mistake of interpretation, but our social
> contract is written not just for our own consumption, but quite
> deliberately as a communication to rest of the free software community.
> (That is its raison d' être.)
> > C. That the maintainer of the Debian Policy Manual, or an appointee of
> > the Debian Project Leader, be directed to update that manual
> > respective of the changes to the Project and general Project policy
> > detailed in sections A and B above.
> > D. That the maintainers of the Debian Archive and website, or an
> > appointee of the Debian Project Leader, be directed to implement the
> > changes to the Debian Archive and website to reflect the changes to
> > Debian enacted by the foregoing clauses in this Resolution.
> I have no problem with these points. As I said, the administative detail
> of when the "cutover" takes place is an administrative issue that I think
> should be removed from A.2) and made a separate clause or part of C).
> > 'Nuff said.
> Really, I don't think you can make a potentially controversial GR like this
> and then just throw a sheet over it with, "'Nuff said." :)
> G. Branden Robinson |
> Debian GNU/Linux | Mob rule isn't any prettier just because
> firstname.lastname@example.org | you call your mob a government.
> roger.ecn.purdue.edu/~branden/ |
see shy jo