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Re: [Discussioni] OSD && DFSG convergence

Why are you CC'ing me when the Debian list policy is not to?

Henning Makholm writes:
 > Scripsit Russell Nelson <nelson@crynwr.com>
 > > This seems to be a sticking point with a lot of people.  Essentially,
 > > everyone seems to be defending their right to arbitrarily exclude
 > > software from Debian.  But that is a right you don't have.
 > We sure do have.

No, you don't.  You go on to say:

 > However, the *only* ill that could befall Debian for arbitrarily
 > excluding something is that some of our users will be disappointed with
 > not having it, and that they will start using another OS if it
 > disappoints them enough.

You agree with me, I see.

 > Nobody can sue us for not including their favorite software. Nobody
 > can sue us for not including software they wrote.

Guess what, Henning: anybody can sue anybody for anything anytime
anywhere (where "anywhere" is defined as any free country).

 > > Well... what is wrong with amending the DFSG so it incorporates the
 > > case law? Because it's hard?  Shit, coding is *hard* and we do it
 > > anyway.
 > There's nothing *wrong* per se with making the DFSG more explicit (as
 > long as nobody begins to claim it to be an objective touchstone that
 > does not require judgement in applying it).

I don't think anybody claims that.

 > Just logistically, changing the DFSG is not a simple matter.

Neither is changing the OSD, yet we've managed to do it.

 > So if someone were to set out amending the DFSG, that someone would
 > need to be a rather senior and respected member of the Debian
 > community, or he'd not have a snowball's chance in hell of succeeding.

I expect I could get bdale on board, and the entire board of SPI.  If
they don't want to do it, there's no point in proceeding.

 > It seems that most of the debian-legal regulars have decided for
 > themselves that, sure there are things that might be said clearer, but
 > it's not broken enough to turn the Constitution upside down to fix it.

And yet, you're doing that right now.  One cannot rely on the language 
of the DFSG to decide if something is DFSG-free.  One must apply to an
elite cabal of Debian members who are completely unaccountable and
may decide anything they wish.  (Assuming of course that you're
correct about your ability to be arbitrary, which I contend you are

And you think that's not a broken process?

 > I suspect your real agenda is something like: The OSD is not
 > unambiguous enough for the purposes the OSI is putting it to, so you
 > want our help in fixing it. If you had come to us and said, please
 > help us make the OSD better,

I am willing to see the OSD change to achieve convergence.  I am NOT
willing to NOT see the DFSG change to achieve convergence.

 > But what you actually seem to say is: We have these two documents that
 > except for a few places are identical; please make a lot of changes to
 > yours so that we can have them "converge".  That doesn't make much
 > sense to me,

Would you rather have the current state of affairs, where one group of 
free software developers says the RPSL is a free software license, and 
another says it's not a free software license?  I can't imagine
anybody would think that's a good thing.

-russ nelson              http://russnelson.com | You get prosperity when
Crynwr sells support for free software  | PGPok | the government does less,
521 Pleasant Valley Rd. | +1 315 268 1925 voice | not when the government
Potsdam, NY 13676-3213  | +1 315 268 9201 FAX   | does something right.

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