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Re: Discussion - non-free software removal



[We're off-charter for -devel, but I guess that's John's fault. :)]

On Sun, Nov 10, 2002 at 10:46:03PM -0600, Chris Lawrence wrote:
> >   Issue nontechnical policy documents and statements.
> > 
> >   These include documents describing the goals of the project, its
> >   relationship with other free software entities, and nontechnical policies
> >   such as the free software licence terms that Debian software must meet.
> >   
> >   They may also include position statements about issues of the day.
> 
> You'll note that this power does not (explicitly) extend to repealing
> documents describing the goals of the project, which this resolution
> would, in fact, do.

Of course it implies that.  The document can simply state that it
supersedes another document.  This violates nothing in the Constitution.
The Constitution has a documented prodedure for its own amendment and
countenances no others, so it's impossible for a nontechnical policy
document or statement to supersede the Constitution itself.

> Frankly if we're going to go this route, we should just amend the
> existing social contract since either approach ignores the letter of
> the constitution.

I disagree that the Constitution explicitly or implicitly forbids us
from issuing policy documents and statements that say anything we like
regarding the goals of the project, its relationship with other free
software entities, nontechnical policies such as the free software
licence terms that Debian software must meet, and position statements
about issues of the day.

Our "position statements about issues of the day", for instance, may
change over time in response to circumstances, as happened with the
hoary old Qt licensing fiasco.  Clearly we've changed our minds about

http://www.debian.org/News/1998/19981008

...and we didn't need a Constitutional amendment to put KDE in main
after Qt was dual-licensed under the GPL and QPL.

-- 
G. Branden Robinson                |
Debian GNU/Linux                   |      Please do not look directly into
branden@debian.org                 |      laser with remaining eye.
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |

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