Re: Free non-software stuff and what does it mean. [was Re: General Resolution: Force AMD64 into Sarge]
[NB: Please follow debian list policy and refrain from Cc:'ing me. I
have even taken the trouble to set MFT appropriately, and had on the
previous message as well. This is also rapidly becomming off topic for
-devel. MFT set appropriately (?) to -legal. Please respond there (and
don't Cc me.)]
On Sat, 24 Jul 2004, Adam Majer wrote:
> The *program* must include source code, and must allow distribution
> in source code as well as compiled form.
> where the definition of *program* is,
> *6 a* *:* a plan for the programming of a mechanism (as a computer)
> *b* *:* a sequence of coded instructions that can be inserted into a
> *> mechanism (as a computer)
A mechanism like a sound card, a CRT device, or a printer, satisfies
this definition of program as well.
Regardless, this debate has occured before. See thousands of posts to
-legal and -vote covering this very issue in the most minute
detail. Please consider sifting through the mailing list archives to
bring up new arguments if possible, rather than repeating the old ones
that have been dealt with and discarded (or at least failed to sway
anyone) on multiple occasions.
As a parting note, I'm still not sure yet what the main problem with
providing source to works like this is. Surely providers of Free
Software will be willing to provide the "prefered form for
modification" of the data files that they distribute as well?
Again, I, and, as far as I know, people who support source
availablility, are not calling for people to provide the singer who
performed the background vocal, tickets to the location where the
photo was shot, copies of the film used, the original 24 track
tape. What we're looking for is as close to the preferred form for
modification as can be had.
If upstream needed to have the background vocal increased by 2dB, the
prefered form for modification would be what they'd use to do
that. Likewise with a photo that needed it's elements rearranged. To
the maximum extent possible, users should have the same capability to
modify a work as the upstream maintainer themselves.
We may have been lax in requiring this, but maintainers really should
be expecting their upstreams to provide source for everything in their
package. I know I expect it as a user for the packages that I use, and
as a maintainer for the packages I maintain.
Dropping non-free would set us back at least, what, 300 packages? It'd take
MONTHS to make up the difference, and meanwhile Debian users will be fleeing
And what about SHAREHOLDER VALUE?
-- Matt Zimmerman in <gYuD3D.A.ayC.nGB39@murphy>