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Re: Intent to mass-file bugs: FDL/incorrect copyright files

Matthew Garrett <mgarrett@chiark.greenend.org.uk> writes:

> Brian Nelson <pyro@debian.org> wrote:
>> I'm asserting that debian-legal is not a decision-making group and has
>> no authority to dictate whether the GFDL is free or not.  In fact, a
>> number of the more vocal participants on debian-legal *are not
>> developers*.
> The status-quo is that the final decision on whether software will be
> accepted or not is made by the FTPmasters. In general, if there is an
> established and strong consensus on debian-legal, that will be listened
> to.

The ftp-masters are responsible for maintaining the archive, but they
aren't responsible for everything that goes in.  I could upload an
existing package right now that contains some new non-free bits and they
wouldn't see it or block its inclusion.

They may reject packages in the NEW queue that are clearly non-free, but
I don't see them making difficult licensing decisions.

> There are two ways of making arguments against removing GFDLed material:
> 1) It doesn't meet the DFSG
> (There's no real way that this argument can be made - if the GFDL were
> being attached to code, we wouldn't even have questioned this. It allows
> unmodifiable content, and makes awkward restrictions with practical
> consequences)

The GFDL w/ invariant sections clearly does not meet the DFSG.  One
without invariant sections is not so clear.

> 2) It doesn't need to meet the DFSG
> (V1.1 of the social contract claims that everything in Debian needs to
> meet the DFSG, not just executable code. In full knowledge of this,
> developers voted not to revert it)
> If you want to argue the first, you're about 18 months too late. If you
> want to argue the second, you're about 6 months too late. It's quite
> clear that unless something dramatic happens, GFDLed material will be
> removed from Debian after the Sarge release.

It is clear to me that there is conflict between at least some GFDL
documents and the SC/DFSG that will need to be resolved.  However, I
don't see any clear course of action we must take.  We could decide to
only accept GFDL documents that lack invariant sections.  We could amend
the SC or DFSG in such a way that allows all GFDL documents.  We could
add an exception to the SC/DFSG that temporarily allows GFDL to remain
in Debian for some more time.

This is not a decision that should be made lightly.  I strongly believe
removing all GFDL documents is a violation of the SC since it would be
so hurtful to our users, without any clear benefit to "free software".
We should not rashly remove all GFDL material simply to meet a strict
interpretation of the DFSG.

For every sprinkle I find, I shall kill you!

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