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Re: Please remove RFCs from the documentation in Debian packages

On Thu, Jul 03, 2003 at 03:02:59PM -0500, Joshua Haberman wrote:

> If the separation between main and non-free is intended primarily as a
> guarantee that everything in main is DFSG-free, and that no part of the
> core distribution depends on non-free software, I completely agree with
> you.  To the supporters of non-free removal, I get the impression that is
> more of a delineation between what the project morally endorses and what
> it only grudgingly supports as a service to users.

> If you assume the former view, there is no reason to remove non-free as a
> whole, because the main/non-free split already guarantees that Debian
> proper is 100% DFSG-free.

That does not follow.  I have never heard anyone argue that guaranteeing
the freedom of Debian proper is the reason for removing non-free.  There
are resources involved in maintaining the archive for non-free; its
presence on Debian servers lends credibility to the software there,
which, whether or not you believe there is a moral issue, may not be
desirable because the licensing is not consistent with Debian's primary
goals.  The dropping-non-free issue is a complex one.

In contrast, the question of including non-DFSG-free documentation in
main is fairly clear-cut: one interpretation unambiguously agrees with
the Social Contract as written, and one does not.  The honest solution
is to eliminate the ambiguity, not to try to argue that the ambiguity is

> If you assume the latter view, there is no reason to shun the
> non-modifiability of RFCs, because they are free enough for their
> purpose, just as license texts are.

This is also a non-sequitur.  If it's a question of moral endorsement,
how can you assume that people who are concerned about this issue agree
with your definition of what is or isn't moral?

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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