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Re: Sun Java available from non-free

Christian Perrier wrote:
> And isn't another "small cabal" of freeness junkies, who cannot accept
> that it is actually possible to work with commercial vendors to assist
> them in their way to free software, doing exactly the opposite by
> playing words with legal issues ?
Please explain how this helping them on their way to free software.
Don't get me wrong, I applaud their contributions to the open
source/free software communities (NetBeans, OpenOffice, Gnome
contributions, etc).  However, I have a hard time understanding how
Debian distributing Java, which, judging by all the debate, is still
under questionable license terms, will help.  In my opinion, a continued
refusal to distribute it until it met the required criteria would be
much better.  As it stands, here is it appears:

Sun has gained for Java:
  - "approval" or "validation" as "free enough" for all Linux distros
(remember, Debian is seen as the most restrictive in this regard)
  - a willing accomplice
  - a demotivation to find more favorable licensing terms

Debian has gained:
  - lots of people blogging about this whole mess
  - possible future legal problems (extent is still being sorted out)
  - something it already had (admins who really wanted Sun's Java could
always go to java.sun.com and install it themselves or use java-package)

I would regard this situation as Debian having been "played."


Full disclosure:

I am not a DD
I am in the NM queue
I have posted a few dozen times to debian-legal
I am not some sort of legal analyst or expert
I think this whole mess is rather absurd
Flame away

Roberto C. Sanchez

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