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Re: Sun Java available from non-free

On Sun, May 21, 2006 at 11:24:12PM +0200, Josselin Mouette wrote:
> Le dimanche 21 mai 2006 à 16:17 -0500, Raphael Hertzog a écrit :
> > Good, but you shouldn't decide what others have to do. Some people are
> > interested in java in non-free, it's not your job to try to forbid them to
> > work on that.

> Not if it hurts the project. And it does.


> > The license is good enough for Debian (ftpmasters took their decisions).
> > There's no fix to require, but it would be good to continue working them
> > to enhance even more the license. Such a constructive behaviour would put
> > us in a good position to make sure that Sun releases java in a DFSG-free
> > compliant license when they will open-source it.

> Collaborating with Sun is a good idea for people interested in it. But
> those people abused of their position in the project to force the
> software directly into non-free, without any kind of discussion.

No discussion is required.  The only requirement for non-free is that the
ftp-masters, as the parties directly responsible for deciding what ends up
on the Debian mirrors, are comfortable with the consequences of distributing
the work.

If you have a reason to believe that the ftpmasters have *misjudged* the
liability involved, or you are approaching this as a mirror operator who is
not comfortable with the license and might have to drop non-free as a
result, it is reasonable for you to voice such concerns and try to persuade
the ftpmasters to revert the decision.  But arguing that they have wronged
the project by not consulting you first is so much bullshit, because *they*
are the ones who bear the primary liability from distributing these
packages, and other developers (as opposed to mirror operators) bear none at
all.  They didn't ask you because Debian is not a democracy and random
opinions on this decision *don't* matter.

Even debian-legal isn't particularly relevant here, because the culture on
that list is oriented towards identifying worst-case scenarios and testing
them against the DFSG's requirements, *not* doing risk-assessment for
non-free.  For the latter, you ought to be recommending the ftpmasters
consult a lawyer, not a mailing list.

> Individual collaborations with companies like Sun can indeed benefit the
> project. Involving the whole project by force doesn't.

No one involved you by force; the bitching you're doing on the mailing lists
is of your own free will.

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
vorlon@debian.org                                   http://www.debian.org/

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