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Re: Social Contract: Practical Implications

On Sun, May 09, 2004 at 05:22:21PM -0400, Raul Miller wrote:
> And the Debian interpretation is that works distributed under the GPL
> (and a number of other licenses) satisfy the DFSG.

Yep, but that's not relevant to the argument that "No Discrimination
Against Fields of Endeavor" only applies to programs and nothing else
due to the use of the word "Program".

(I'm also not convinced that DFSG#10 talks about the text of the license
rather than the terms.  I tend to find that as DFSG#10 is so vague, doesn't
actually place any requirements on freedom, and that there is nothing
approaching consensus as to what it means, that it's best ignored.)

> > Again, if we read "program" in the DFSG to mean anything but "software",
> > it's suddenly making most of the DFSG apply only to programs, which is
> > completely ignoring the results of the GR.
> You mean the GR which was supposed to clarify the Social Contract?

Yes; 2004_003.

> I don't remember the discussion about how Debian needed to change its
> fundamental approach to everything.  Do you have some other basis for
> this statement?

There wouldn't have been a discussion, as nothing changed.  Debian has
been applying the (entire) DFSG to works which are not programs for a
long time.

> Also, "two clauses"?  Which two are those?  About half the clauses are
> not specific to programs.  One of those (clause 9) explicitly uses an
> example involving programs, but is not restricted to programs.

Seven of them use the word "program".  If "program" is not interpreted as
"software", the interpretation of those seven clauses would be brought
into question, in varying degrees.

(DFSG#1: does an aggregate of documentation count?  DFSG#6: discrimination
against endeavor is acceptable for documentation?  #7: licenses for docs
do not need to apply to redistributions?  #8: a Debian-specific license is
acceptable for docs?  All of the above are silly, IMO, and they're the
result of not reading "program" as "software".)

> > (You might assert that people voting for the change actually meant that all
> > software should be judged under the DFSG, but only two clauses of the DFSG
> > clearly apply to non-programs; but I reject that assertion, as you're one
> > of the few that has ever even suggested it.)
> This paragraph, to me, looks like you're objecting to the person talking
> rather than the words being said.

Nope.  It's simple: I havn't seen anybody in the past raise any serious claim
that, for example, DFSG#7 only applies only to programs due to its use of
the phrase "the program".  I don't believe that people actually believed that.

Glenn Maynard

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