[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: forwarded message from Jeff Licquia

On Wed, Jul 17, 2002 at 02:24:16AM +0100, Timothy Murphy wrote:
> On Tue, Jul 16, 2002 at 01:51:05PM -0700, Walter Landry wrote:
> > > Could I distribute a modified version of Linux without Torvald's permission?
> > > I hope not.

> > Absolutely.  Debian distributes modified kernels, and I know that we
> > didn't ask for permission from Linus or the thousands of other
> > copyright holders.  In fact, some of the modifications were made
> > against the express wish of some of the copyright holders.

> That seems to me a very good reason for not using Debian kernels.
> In any case, does it matter what "modified kernels" Debian distributes?
> Surely anyone with a serious interest in Linux
> will get the latest kernel from www.kernel.org and compile that.

> Life is too short to waste time
> on "personal versions" of software.

Sadly, you seem to have missed the point of Free Software altogether,
which can be stated simply as: preventing anyone from having exclusive
control of the software so that everyone can benefit.  If you don't
value the freedom that permits Debian to ship changed versions of
software, that's your prerogative; but that happens to be the one thing
you'll get all Debian developers to agree on.  The freedom to create
these "personal versions" of software is the only protection that our
thousands or millions of users worldwide have against software authors
who are unresponsive, missing, or antagonistic.  It is our insurance
policy that we will be free to continue to do what we believe is in the
best interest of our users, even when upstream disagrees.  If the Latex
developers don't believe this is important enough that they will choose
a license that complies with the Debian Free Software Guidelines, that's
once again their right as copyright holders, but it definitely makes it
incompatible with Debian's stated goals.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

Attachment: pgpoXScwwk17w.pgp
Description: PGP signature

Reply to: