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Re: REVISED PROPOSAL regarding DFSG 3 and 4, licenses, and modifiable text

On Sun, Dec 02, 2001 at 09:45:48PM +1000, Anthony Towns wrote:
> On Sun, Dec 02, 2001 at 04:31:06AM -0500, Branden Robinson wrote:
> > I don't think we should *encourage* reasoning by fiat or whim
> Possibly more acutely: how is "32kB" justified, apart from fiat or whim?

Apparently you got excited and didn't read the rest of the message.

> > When one has to make an arbitrary decision, it's best accompanied by an
> > explanation of the factors that led to it.  With my arbitrary limit of
> > 32k (or whatever) in my proposal, I have offered such an explanation.
> > Like most arbitrary limits, it can't satisfy everyone.  Hence the
> > flexibility discussed in the "Background" section.  The proposal is made
> > in hopes of *reducing*, not increasing, the net number of distinct
> > arbitrary decisions that get made about packages and the DFSG.

> > A well-chosen arbitrary limit will:
> > 1) Be sufficiently low as to not violate the intent of DFSG 3;
> > 2) Be sufficiently high as to let most "unobjectionable" packages that
> >    have to be evaluated under this criterion into main;
> > 3) Be sufficiently low as to encourage authors/licensors to not get
> >    carried away with large amounts of invariant text.

> > These properties do presume that the freedom to modify a work is held as
> > a value.

> > Sure, we could throw out the 32k limit and invite everyone to decide for
> > himself what's reasonable.  (I'll bet you'd find a lot of invariant text
> > in main that way.  If you package something for Debian, you tend to want
> > it in main.)  Or we could empower some shadowy, unaccountable person or
> > cabal to make licensing decisions for us, and hand down their wisdom
> > from on high.

> > Better than both of the above, I think, is to be open, honest, and frank
> > about our criteria.  Abitrary decisions will be held against us more,
> > not less, if we leave them undiscussed, unexplained, unjustified, and
> > unaccounted for.

G. Branden Robinson                |       Convictions are more dangerous
Debian GNU/Linux                   |       enemies of truth than lies.
branden@debian.org                 |       -- Friedrich Nietzsche
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |

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