Re: Mass bug filing: Cryptographic protection against modification
Theodore Ts'o wrote:
> On Wed, May 05, 2004 at 06:09:14PM +0100, Colin Watson wrote:
>> On Wed, May 05, 2004 at 08:32:49AM -0700, Brian Nelson wrote:
>> > Previously, it was OK since Debian was only required to be "100% free
>> > software" and those license files could be considered external to the
>> > actual software work. In other words, the software (even including
>> > data and documentation if you'd like) had to be free but the
>> > accompanying
>> > license files did not. If we now insist on "100% free", I fail to see
>> > how we can justify this.
>> > The only defense against this argument I've seen is stuff like "Fuck
>> > off", "Get a grip", "Go away", etc. If you want to stick your head in
>> > the sand, go right ahead, but that doesn't make the problem go away.
>> I guess if you want to play Nomic games with Debian and drive it off a
>> cliff so that we can never do anything again, that's fine, but I prefer
>> to use a modicum of common sense myself.
> Well, I'd make the same argument re: "get a grip" and permanently
> allow including RFC's, GFDL licensed documentation, and firmware where
> source is not available in Debian. But the newly passed "editorial
> changes" have explicitly stated that all components of Debian must be
> 100% DFSG compliant.
> I assume you wouldn't go that far, and that "get a grip" should only
> be applied to GPL. But why is that? And how do people who think that
> the GPL should get a pass by not having to comply with the new,
> improved DFSG rules, but who don't believe that firmware or GDFL texts
> or fonts shouldn't get a pass, defend themselves against a charge of
> blatent hypocrisy?
I think the "get a grip" argument is coming from someone who did not support
the amendment; it's certainly coming from someone who thinks that the
changes were not editorial. I'm not sure who's in the category you're
describing, if anyone.
As someone who thinks the changes were not really a significant change in
meaning, I can say what *I* think; that the Social Contract should be
explicitly amended to allow a narrowly tailored exception for legal texts
which everyone can agree on. If nobody else cares to do so, and if I
become a developer, I will do so. In practical terms, I am willing to let
the legal texts sit there temporarily until this is cleared up, just as I
am willing to let the GFDL stuff sit there temporarily (but not
indefinitely). I expect that at least some people feel exactly the same
I also think that if you'd like to permanently let RFC's, GFDL-licensed
documentation, and sourceless "firmware" into Debian, you should propose a
GR to explicitly do exactly that.
I really expected, when Andrew Suffield's GR was proposed, a competing set
of editorial changes which would codify the "other interpretation", making
the Social Contract say "The software programs in Debian will remain 100%
Free Software", or some such. But I guess the people who believe that
didn't support clarity, or thought their position was "obviously" what the
old text meant, or couldn't be bothered to worry about what the Social
Contract actually said, or hadn't noticed the discussions about the meaning
of the Social Contract (which had spilled onto debian-devel more than once
in the last year), or just had been busy, or something?
Well, you still have the option of offering such an amendment now.
There are none so blind as those who will not see.