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Re: Social Contract GR's Affect on sarge

On Fri, Apr 30, 2004 at 10:13:12PM +0200, Thiemo Seufer wrote:
> Hamish Moffatt wrote:
> > On Fri, Apr 30, 2004 at 03:33:14AM +0200, Thiemo Seufer wrote:
> > > FWIW, I never have seen this restricted use of "software" somewhere
> > > outside of Debian. Probably that's because I'm living in Germany,
> > > and the word has a different meaning here (It's used as the
> > > complement to hardware).
> > 
> > I think your definition is silly.
> Well, it's the one commonly used here,

which doesn't make it right;

>                                        and I think it's also the one
> which was used for the Social Contract, because the DFSG included
> there differentiate between software and programs (only programs are
> required to include source code).

I think you are reading it differently than it was intended. In my
reading the DFSG mixes "programs" and "software" freely.


(1) ... The license of a Debian component may not restrict any party from
selling or giving away the software as a component of an aggregate
software distribution containing programs from several different

(4) The license may restrict source-code from being distributed in
modified form _only_ if the license allows the distribution of "patch
files" with the source code for the purpose of modifying the program at
build time. The license must explicitly permit distribution of software
built from modified source code. ...

(6) The license must not restrict anyone from making use of the program
in a specific field of endeavor. For example, it may not restrict the
program from being used in a business, or from being used for genetic

This one talks about restrictions on programs. Given your argument that
software is a superset of computer programs, restrictions on non-program
software would be acceptable under the DFSG?

(8) The rights attached to the program must not depend on the program's
being part of a Debian system. 

Non-program software is allowed Debian-specific licenses?

> Every bitstream readily available as input for the computer system
> is software. So the paper form is (a medium bearing) software only
> if you use a good OCR system.

So do you argue that every bitstream is also a program then?

You can argue that the social contract and DFSG should apply to
everything Debian distributes, but to do that by redefining software
is simply rubbish. If you don't believe me, go ask some people in the
real world how they define software.

Hamish Moffatt VK3SB <hamish@debian.org> <hamish@cloud.net.au>

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