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Re: more evil firmwares found

On Sun, Apr 25, 2004 at 03:15:12AM -0500, Manoj Srivastava wrote:
> 	Well, it is all software, and thus must meet the Debian Free
>  SOFTWARE guideline. Which means that the source code, err, preferred
>  form of modification of software, must be provided. 

Where is that stated?  I see only DFSG#2, which uses a different term, a
more specific one, besides "software".

> 	IMHO, this iust silly rules lawyeing. Even in D&D I hated those
>  players. The idea is that I am given some bunch of software I find
>  useful, I thould easily be able to modify it to better suit me, and
>  to be able to share these mods with my friends.

We are not in disagreement here.

> 	If this means modiying that wav to mix in "the flight of the
>  Valkeries" as the background for the error warning message, I should
>  be able to do. If there is a picture, I should be able to modify it
>  -- again, the preferred form for modification is requiredd.

The "preferred form of modification" is not part of policy.  It is only
a convention spurred by the GPL.  If decisions are to be made using that
criterion as a basis, it has to be part of policy.  As for having the
permission to modify it, we are not in disagreement.

> 	Look, we don't want free software for the sake of free
>  software -- the idea is to be able to modify, enhance, tailor the
>  software, and reap the benefits of the diverity of variations that
>  could emerge. 

I have already said that I don't disagree.  It is not as if I am
challenging the principles of Debian.  I am challenging the idea that
there is no distinction between program material (as in DFSG#2) and the
more encompassing term software (as in the rest of the social contract).
Handwaving that distinction presents a significant challenge to certain
users (obviously, myself included).

> 	No. The DFSG applies to everything that is in debian.

Ob duh.  The question is whether DFSG#2 applies to everything in Debian
or not.  Besides a lot of personal opinions, nobody has shown me what is
required to interpret the word "program" as being equivalent to
"software", besides Herbert Xu's post, which pushes the borders of what
is practical or intended.  But if everyone really wants to go that

>  over on legal, I pointed out a situation where the same set of bits
>  served as documentation, program input, and program instruction, in
>  different parts of the system.  I believe that such a clean
>  distinction is impossible anyway.

Sure, so in that case, DFSG#2 would apply to that piece of software
since the whole of it is also a program.  This is not a universal set of

Ryan Underwood, <nemesis@icequake.net>

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