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Re: Removal of non-free

* MJ Ray <markj@cloaked.freeserve.co.uk> [030522 16:11]:
> > I fear there will always be non-free things or things becomming non-free
> > in some way.
> This does not seem to be a reason for keeping the non-free section.

But it is a reason, why the "mozilla now exists" does not change the
situation. It once was a browser, then a pdf-viewer. Currently I'm
looking forward to a replacement for povray. Free software sadly
needs some time to fit in al the niches, as much too few institutions
have adopted it, and good code just needs time.

> > I believe havinig non-free areas ourselves is the best
> > way to achieve this.
> Can you give any other reasons?  I don't like the ones you give below.

I don't like them, too. But I don't like many things in this world.

> > It radically dicharges pressure to include or
> > leave anything non-free in Debian.
> Such pressure is irrelevant, unless you think there's a realistic chance
> of the basic "100% free software" pledge being changed as a result?

I do not only see a realistic change, but a large chance for this.
(Consider the emacs documentation were considered non-free and the
 only possibilities were making an exception or removing it from 
 anything Debian distributes. Do you really think even the thread of 
 removing would be realistic? )

> > (And thus makes it easier to
> > apply pressure to change the licence).
> Are there cases where software has fixed its licence as a direct result
> of being put into non-free, except for cases where it was in main before?

I can't recall any. As the normal way is to ask for a new licence before
uploading packages, numbers are hard to get. 

And the point about things in main before is really important. With
enough exceptions made for things that had nicer licences earlier or
which badness was not prior found, it'd get much harder to avoid
non-free things slipping in in main directly.

> > And having it implemented as satallite gives us not only control which
> > things get in and to throw things out, but also makes sure it does
> > not draw labor to create alternative infrastructure.
> Indeed, but it has been suggested that we should use that control to throw
> it all out.  I think that the time for that has come.  It will save some
> mirror space and transfer, while any work likely to be done by the few
> non-free apologists who will persist ;-) 

I doubt that this are so few.

> is fairly minimal (set up a BTS, apt repository - what else?).

webpages, autobuilders, account managment, keyrings, ....

Not to forget the work to find computers, hosting places, mirrors and
such infrastructure.

I'm quite sure that situation for non-free stuff will get better, if
non-free is thrown out of debian....

> I assume that only a reply to the Catholic part was supposed to be off-list,
> as this seems fairly on-topic.

on debian-legal? I suggest switching to debian-project  or

  Bernhard R. Link

Sendmail is like emacs: A nice operating system, but missing
an editor and a MTA.

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