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Re: Legal questions about some GNU Emacs files



On Mon, Apr 28, 2003 at 04:34:54PM -0700, Alex Romosan wrote:
> Steve Langasek <vorlon@netexpress.net> writes:
> 
> > You have turned the DFSG soundly on its head. In a world of
> > copyrights, all works are non-free *by default*; it is only if they
> > meet certain requirements, as detailed in the DFSG, that we consider
> > them free. Are you saying that the WHY-FREE op-ed piece should be
> > considered free because the DFSG doesn't say anything about opinion
> > pieces?
> 
> _you_ have turned the DFSG on its head by taking something meant for
> software and applying it to non software. i've read the DFSG now a
> million times and all i can see is references to software and source
> code. it doesn't say anything about documentation, nor does it say
> anything about being able to modify political manifestos. show me
> where in the DFSG there is a mention of anything other than software.
> 
> why should be distribute WHY-FREE? because it is our raison d'être.
> with out it debian wouldn't even exist and we wouldn't be having this
> conversation. generalizing a little bit, emacs is not just a
> text-editor (or mail reader, compiler, oh well, operating system),
> emacs is a political statement and as such it should include the
> WHY-FREE manifesto.

Okay, here's the deal. We've discussed this 42e69 times before, and
we'll do it that many times again, if not more. But I would like to
point you to
<http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2002/debian-legal-200208/msg00364.html>
et seq. I would especially like to point out something that Joe
Wreschnig said [0]:

  My point is that fine, I guess Debian can include non-free non-software.
  However, it's difficult if not impossible to prove that any given stream
  of bits is not software. So the only non-free things we can include are
  proven non-software, like ham sandwiches or desks.

I will pay a cash reward to the first person who modifies apt to make it
possible to download a desk. ;-)

[0] http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2002/debian-legal-200208/msg00385.html

-- 
Brian M. Carlson <sandals@crustytoothpaste.ath.cx> 0x560553e7
"Let us think the unthinkable, let us do the undoable. Let us prepare
 to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it
 after all." --Douglas Adams

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