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Re: Screw non-free.

On Thu, Mar 11, 2004 at 06:19:17PM -0700, Lucas Albers wrote:
> I personally like being able to get some non free packages from the
> repositories.

In "the" you're implying that Debian repositories must contain non-free
software.  This is the only point of contention for this GR.  Allowing
software to be distributed in non-free, even though it fails Debian's
first pledge, is hypocritical.

If I were approached by any non-free software developer who wishes to
make *.deb packages and create an apt repository for it, I will
certainly offer a helping hand.  I like the convenience that the Debian
package format provides me as an end-user, so I'll continue to advocate
its use.  This does not mean I would like to offer Debian bandwidth and
resources to do so.

"We disagree with the licensing agreement you're using for your
software, but hey, who cares. Right?  Go ahead and use the resources
paid for by donated funds and time.  I'm sure no one will mind."

I agreed to provide 100% free software packages as defined by the DFSG.
This does not mean I think that commercial software has no place in the
world.  It also does not mean I will refuse help to those who wish to
adapt their software to a Debian package format.  It doesn't mean that I
refuse work from a commercial software provider.  What it does mean is
that software that doesn't fall under the DFSG's definition of Free will
not be found on Debian archives.

That's all.  Here's the question you should ask: "Is it worth the
donated resources of time and money to support non-free software?"  Note
that this is a different question than some would lead you to believe:
"Should we provide Debian expertise to commercial hardware or software
vendors?"  The answer is a resounding, "Why not?!" ;-)

I do think there is a place in the world for a Linux distribution that
simply provides software, regardless of it's licensing.  However, Debian
is not that distribution.  The technology and development infrastructure
is more than adequate to provide this type of solution, but the social
structure is not.  Debian is not "everyone's" Linux distribution; it is
a Free Linux distribution.

Chad Walstrom <chewie@wookimus.net>           http://www.wookimus.net/
           assert(expired(knowledge)); /* core dump */

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