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

Branden Robinson <branden@debian.org> wrote:
> > But it's becoming clear to me that there are only two people who think
> > we even need to worry about this at all.
> Who's the other one?

You can count me as well.  It's a bit amazing to me that people who
are subscribed to debian-legal don't like thinking legalisticly.  The
plain wording of the Social Contract and the DFSG make it clear that
the documents with invariant texts aren't really allowed in Debian.
Branden is just trying to clarify the shared understanding that there
are exceptions.  Now everyone is arguing about what those exceptions
actually are.  Is it a percentage, or is it an absolute size?  Can a
person put in objectionable material?  This suggests that the shared
understanding isn't really shared or understood.  That is why Branden
is proposing this.  So that everyone will know what is the standard.

I'm actually of the opinion that Debian shouldn't allow any invariant
text except licenses and copyright notices.  Debian is not in the
business of distributing political commentary and/or fiction.  People
may include these things in the software that they create, but I don't
think that Debian should be required to distribute them in order to
distribute the attached useful technical information.  There is just
too much potential for abuse.  Debian may, as a courtesy, distribute
these things, but shouldn't be required to.

If someone wants to place additional restrictions on how their
documentation can be used, then that is what non-free is for.  Yes,
unfortunately, that includes the FSF's documentation at the moment.

Walter Landry

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