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Re: [Discussioni] OSD && DFSG convergence

On 28-Jan-03, 10:02 (CST), Russell Nelson <nelson@crynwr.com> wrote: 
>  > 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.

No, he *doesn't*. Either you can't read, or *I* can't read. You keep
making claims about vague legal liabilities that Debian will incur by
not packaging and distributing some piece of software.

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

True, but can they win? And even if they do, what are they going to get?
The most valuable thing we "own" is the name Debian, and I can guarantee
that if someone won it in a lawsuit, the value would instantly go to
zero, and the we'd simply crank up a "new" project, probably with less
trouble than the effort involved in modifying the DFSG.

And since anyone *can* file a lawsuit for pretty much anything they want
anytime they feel hurt, how does changing the DFSG help?

>  > 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.

Then why don't you go that, rather than wasting time here?

>  > 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
> not).
> And you think that's not a broken process?

TINC.  :-)

And no, I don't think it's broken. It's worked pretty well for a number
of years, even while the "cabal" has changed. Some authors have gone
away disappointed, but that's their choice.

> 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.

I don't think it's a great thing, but I don't see it as a problem
either. Different companies and organizations have lots of different
opinions about many different things.

And why would changing the OSD and DFSG to be textually identical
change this? You yourself agreed that judgement and interpetation would
continue to be necessary; do you really believe that we'd agree on every
single borderline case? Or do you expect us to bow to your (OSI's)
judgement in what is "free software"? Sorry, you guys blew that chance a
long time ago. I'd much rather trust the regulars on debian-legal (aka
"the elite cabal") than OSI. Hell, I rather turn the whole thing over to
RMS - he is, if nothing else, consistent.


Steve Greenland

    The irony is that Bill Gates claims to be making a stable operating
    system and Linus Torvalds claims to be trying to take over the
    world.       -- seen on the net

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