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Re: How about a new section "[partially free]"?

(Arrgh, I simply pressed "Reply" again... :o( Sorry, Branden!)

Hi Branden!

I think I should rephrase where I see a problem:

IMHO, the DFSG serves for two purposes:

1. It determines what can be included into Debian. (If I
   understand it right, [non-free] is not a part of Debian, but
   something like an additional service ran by Debian)

2. However, it also determines what is considered "free" from
   the Debian perspective. 

Concerning purpose 1, I fully agree with your proposal, however 
I think it messes up things when it comes to purpose 2. 

Problem 1:
Your proposal may imply that invariant sections are something 
free, if only they are short enough. You could change that 
situation by clarifying that licenses, copyright notices, 
invariant sections and so on, are not free although they are in 

Problem 2:
Usually, the fact that a package makes it into [main] can be 
seen as an indicator that its content, minus license document 
and meta information, can be considered free. This will not work 
anymore, if partially unmodifiable stuff is kept in main. So, do 
you have an idea what could be the new mechanism a user could 
use to check what is free and what is not?

On Monday, 3. December 2001 06:00, Branden Robinson wrote:
> On Mon, Dec 03, 2001 at 03:53:34AM +0100, Thomas Uwe 
Gruettmueller wrote:
> > However, I don't think your proposal is sufficient: For
> > example, a manual that contains an invariant (and thus
> > unremovable) section stating: "Drink alcohol!" or "Satan
> > wants you!", this will pass your rules, because it is less
> > than 32KB, and propably less than 5% of the whole text.
> > However, this remark might render the manual unusable in a
> > primary school, because the house rules, or maybe some law,
> > might forbid such remarks in front of children.
> This type of argument opens a complete new can of worms that,
> frankly, I haven't the energy to deal with at present.  If
> anyone shares your feelings on this subject I suggest you get
> together and draft a separate proposal which can be
> incorporated into whatever document my proposal ends up in. 
> If some folks on this list get their way, that document may be
> /dev/null, though, so consider yourself warned.  :)

I agree that the example was a bad choice as it might imply that 
a Debian vendor is responsible for the content Debian compiles.

> A far more interesting hypothetical in my opinion would be
> some person including as invariant text in a package the
> source code enjoined by the United States Federal 2nd Circuit
> in the Universal v. Reimerdes case (a.k.a.  MPAA v. 2600). 
> That might put Debian in an interesting pickle, or maybe the
> package would just be shunted to non-us.

That surely is a better one.

> > If I have understood it right, you believe that the Emacs
> > manual is non-free,
> No, I have made no such statement.  Please be careful.

Please apologize.

> > while others do not want it to be categorized like
> > that, and thus be put on the same level as stuff in
> > [non-free] that fails any rule of the DFSG, and comes with a
> > special permission for Debian.
> >
> > The idea I have in mind about the [non-free light] category
> > is that non-free-CDs that contain only packages that only
> > fail DFSG 2, 3 or 6 can still be copied verbatim. So the CD
> > as one big data chunk cannot become uncopyable.
> That may be something that the FSF would like to see; I am not
> certain that the corpus of Debian Developers shares that view.
>  Speaking for myself, I am not sure that I do.

So, Debian is more fundamentalistic than the FSF? ;o) Cool :o)


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