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Quick thought on the dropping of non-free

    Something I wrote before on another source and wanted to put here.  I've
stayed out of the debate and this will be my only post.

    Debian is Debian, for better or worse.  I see the Social Contract as
immutable.  Part of that contract is the acknowledgement of non-free software
and a pledge of resources to support our users who may wish to use non-free
software.  I do not think anyone has the right or power to change the Social
Contract, even through the checks and balances in place.

    I feel that Debian stands for freedom, not just free software.  Part of
that freedom is the freedom to "do the wrong thing" in the eyes of other
people.  I do know that I don't need to be saved from non-free software in the
same manner some religious people want to save people who, in their eyes, are
doing the wrong thing.

    Now, as a suggestion to those who would change Debian for the "better"
against the obvious protests of not only other developers but users as well
take a page from the same free-software movement you're standing up for.  When
a project starts going in a direction you do not wish, don't hijack the code
base, fork.  If your fork is better, people will use it.  If not, they won't.
The best part is, Debian will support you in that venture in the same manner
Debian supported one fork of it already, Corel's distribution.

    If you truly feel that Debian is not up to your standards, than fork and
create something that is.  But please, please, PLEASE don't /force/ developers
and users who do not share your views down the path you wish to follow after
years of established behavior and relations under current practices.  That
will surely destroy Debian faster than forking every will.

         Steve C. Lamb         | I'm your priest, I'm your shrink, I'm your
         ICQ: 5107343          | main connection to the switchboard of souls.

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