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Proposal - Deferment of Changes from GR 2004-003

The Debian Project,

affirming its committment to principles of freeness for all works it

but recognizing that changing the Social Contract today would have grave
consequences for the upcoming stable release, a fact which does not
serve our goals or the interests of our users,

hereby resolves:

1. that the amendments to the Social Contract contained within the
   General Resolution "Editorial Amendments To The Social Contract"
   (2004 vote 003) be immediately rescinded;
2. that these amendments, which have already been ratified by the Debian
   Project, will be reinstated effective as of September 1, 2004 without
   further cause for deliberation.


As a seconder of the earlier GR, I certainly do consider these
amendments to be editorial in nature, as they are consistent with my
understanding of the existing Social Contract; and I believe these
clarifications are beneficial in the long term, because the ambiguities
in the Social Contract led mostly to sterile arguments about whether the
DFSG *should* apply to works we distribute that are not programs.

It's just the timing that sucks.

In talking with the Release Manager, it is apparent to me that his
understanding of the previous wording of the Social Contract, while
different from mine, is internally consistent; and that attempting to
persuade him that a different interpretation should have held would do
nothing to move the release forward, as I cannot in good conscience
argue that he should be less principled in the enforcement of the Social
Contract than he has been to date.  I am therefore putting forth this
proposal because my *own* principles hold that releasing sarge this year
with the same blemishes that have existed since the beginning is better
than releasing a sarge next year that has no non-DFSG content.

A fixed four month period should (based on current projections) give us
ample time to release sarge, while not allowing so much time that
maintainers are left to think that resolving the status of non-program
components of Debian vis à vis the DFSG is not an imminent concern.

I realize that others have other prospective GRs in progress, but I
believe that it's important to bring a quick resolution to the current
situation, and would therefore like to be able to start the clock on the
discussion period ASAP.  I am looking for seconds for this proposal, or
barring that, amendments.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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