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Re: What to do when the LaTeX sources are missing, but an XML equivalent was rewritten from scratch ?

* Norbert Preining <preining@logic.at> [071119 17:28]:
[liberally snipped]
> And it matters to me that people can get optimal typographic quality.
> So either we have to distribute crippled versions of many documents,
> crippled only in the sense that yes, all the information/text is there,
> but the layout and design is crippled. Or we do not distribute them at
> all.
> Do the DFSG apply to design???
> What does it mean that a design is free?
> In both cases the user has the FULL RIGHT over the source code, can use
> it in any way he likes. Reuse it, alter it, etc etc. But in the second
> case he ALSO (!!!!!) has the right to have a nice beautiful well
> designed document.
> So do we TAKE rights from the users or GIVE them rights?
> Answers please?
> Best wishes
> Norbert

IANADD, but I am a Debian user, so let me provide an analogy that might
help clarify this.

If a software author designs a game, and this game is entirely his own
work (with a DFSG compatible license) except for one image file, which
has a "freely distributable but only without modifications" license.
This game would have to be distributed in non-free (not even contrib
would suffice).

We are assuming here that the one image file provides substantial
aesthetic appeal and the author believes the game to be "best viewed
when this image is included".

But the game otherwise has a DFSG compatible license, so the Debian
packager replaces the image with one that is DFSG-free.  This game would
definitely be suitable for main.

There are, however, several ways that the Debian maintainer could help
the user get the free-beer image into the game.  For one, he could
provide a script that would download the file from the internet.
Another solution would be to provide a separate package in non-free that
contained the image, and have the game Suggest: the non-free image
package (and, of course, automatically use the image if the non-free
package is installed).

So Charles (the OP) could include his XML-based docs in the package in
main, and create a separate package in non-free for the original docs
(provided that Debian can distribute them) if he thinks the difference
in aesthetic quality is worth the effort.

Let me also address your question about taking away rights vs. giving
rights.  Debian does not promise to give its users all rights.  Debian
does not even strive to provide its users with all software that is
freely distributable.  It provides as much DFSG-free software as its
developers are willing and able to package.  Not distributing something
that is not DFSG-free is not taking away rights, it is merely saying
that the user must exercise his own right to download it himself.


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