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Re: Social Contract: Practical Implications

On Sat, May 08, 2004 at 08:09:25PM -0400, Michael Poole wrote:
> I am not a Debian developer, so I cannot propose a GR.  I am already
> doing what I can to raise the issue's visibility.

Neither am I.  My problem is that this doesn't seem to be a serious issue:
making an exception for license texts is not a serious problem.  If
somebody finds an implicit exception to the SC offensive, and wants to
amend the SC to fix it, great--but I just don't find arguments of "if we
allow non-free license texts, we should allow non-free documentation,
too" interesting.

Fundamental to this is that I believe the majority of the project finds
DFSG-freeness of documentation important, but does not find DFSG-freeness
of license texts important.  Ultimately, I would expect an amendment roughly
saying "license texts do not have to be free" to pass, where I would not
expect an amendment saying "documentation does not have to be free" to pass
(except possibly as a temporary measure to get the release out).

> I have not yet thought hard about how to "break" the wording above in
> the sense of there being some way to follow it that takes away what I
> would call an essential software freedom.

The entire purpose of your proposed wording is to take away an essential
software freedom: the freedom to modify documentation and other things
that aren't "programs".

The recent GR makes it clear to me that the majority of Debian agrees that
this is an essential freedom.  (You apparently disagree, but I think your
opinion is such a fringe case that I don't feel like spending the time
trying to convince you.  :)

I believe an explicit exception for *license texts* is acceptable, but
this has absolutely nothing to do with documentation or any other form
of software.

Glenn Maynard

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