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Re: Legal questions about some GNU Emacs files

Antti-Juhani Kaijanaho <ajk@debian.org> writes:

> On 20030429T104014-0700, Alex Romosan wrote:
>> no, i am not. i was just merely responding to the statement that the
>> debian project was founded in august of 1993 while the WHY-FREE
>> manifesto dates from 1994, and hence it was claimed that the social
>> contract preceded the WHY-FREE manifesto. i pointed out the social
>> contract was not adopted until 1997. is that clear enough for you?
> Go read the thread again and note how you misrepresent it here.  You
> wrote "so no, debian didn't come up with the idea of free software"
> (which was, BTW, totally out of place in the thread); do you really
> think that is a way of saying that "the social contract was not adopted
> until 1997"?

here it is what anthony towns said on tue, 29 apr 2003 15:47:51 +1000

  No, it's not. Our raison d'etre is documented in the Debian
  Manifesto, distributed in the doc-debian package. Or it's the Debian
  Constitution, the Debian Social Contract, or the Debian Free
  Software Guidelines distributed in the same package. If you look at
  the Debian History package, you'll find the statement that `The
  Debian Project was officially founded by Ian Murdock on August 16th,
  1993.', which stands in interesting contrast to WHY-FREE's
  `Copyright 1994 Richard Stallman'.

which, at least to me, seems to imply that debian and its lofty ideals
preceded the WHY-FREE manifesto by at least a year.

now, this can also be interpreted as anthony saying debian was founded
before the WHY-FREE manifesto so the manifesto couldn't be our raison
d'être. i don't think it was either, since at the very beginning
(and i've been using debian since early in 1995) there was no
obsession with software purity. this came about in 1997 and culminated
with the social contract written by bruce perens (who later on left
the project when it looked like, and it was, hijacked by the
completely free-software zealots). now a different bunch of zealots
are trying to hijack the project once again attempting to extend the
definition of software (as i said previously, back in 1997 the talk
was mostly about source code).

i think the debian project as a whole needs to reach a consensus
before anybody starts removing files from packages because the said
files don't meet their purity standards. this is not happening. you
have taken upon yourselves to extend the definition of software, purge
the distribution of what you deem impure, and in general ignore any
opinions that don't agree with yours.

it is because of zealots like you every revolution fails in the end.


| I believe the moment is at hand when, by a paranoiac and active |
|  advance of the mind, it will be possible (simultaneously with  |
|  automatism and other passive states) to systematize confusion  |
|  and thus to help to discredit completely the world of reality. |

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