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Re: Please remove RFCs from the documentation in Debian packages

On Fri, Jul 04, 2003 at 03:53:55AM +0800, Cameron Patrick wrote:
> On Thu, Jul 03, 2003 at 02:34:56PM -0500, Branden Robinson wrote:
> | The Debian Social Contract says "Debian Will Remain 100% Free Software".
> | If there are things "in Debian" that are "not free" or "not software",
> | then we may be violation of our guiding principles.
> The anarchism package is an excellent example of a package in Debian
> main that, although DFSG-free, is neither software nor software
> documentation.

And I wouldn't lose any sleep if it were yanked from the Project.
However, as others have pointed out, a consistently applied policy of
removing non-documentation and non-software from Debian would take out
the text of the King James Bible, the Linux Gazette packages, and
anything that is neither human-readable nor executable, like sound
files, icons, "wallpaper" for desktop environments, and so forth.

Because it doesn't seem fruitful to tumble down that slippery slope, and
while the packaging of Linux Gazette, the King James Bible, and the
stuff in the anarchism package may conceivably be an abuse of the Debian
OS to some people, these packages do (AFAIK) meet our licensing
requirements for software.  They therefore do not require us to
compromise our principled dedication to freedom.

(They might, on the other hand, compromise our principled decision to
produce an operating system.  At the same time, Microsoft has worked
long and hard to persuade people that basically anything that comes off
the disk platters in your computer is or can be "part of the OS".
Advocates of the non-free RFCs being in main might share this view.)

G. Branden Robinson                |     Never attribute to malice that
Debian GNU/Linux                   |     which can be adequately explained
branden@debian.org                 |     by stupidity.
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |

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