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Re: A possible approach in "solving" the FDL problem

On Thursday, Aug 7, 2003, at 13:43 US/Eastern, Wouter Verhelst wrote:
international agreements and most countries worldwide
make a distincion between how software and other copyrighted stuff is
protected by law.

Well, at least in the US, software is a literary work. There are certainly special provisions applying to software, as there are many other types of works as well. That's not particularly relevant to our question, though.

We cannot just go ahead and ignore all that, saying
that "we don't have a definition for anything other than free
software, so we'll take that definition and apply it to whatever
people throw in our general direction."

Right now, it's not that we can, it's that we must. The Social Contract clearly says that Debian will remain 100% free _software_. Not "free software and documentation" or "free software, free documentation, and free data" or anything else.

If we want to come up with a separate Debian Free Documentation Guidelines, we can. With a GR, we can issue it. But will still have that Social Contract to deal with. And the constitutional amendment to allow changing that is still, AFAIK, tabled.

BTW: As far as this list deciding on its own, the Project Leader has delegated deciding compliance with the DFSG to the ftp-masters. The ftp-masters consult with this list and generally follow the consensus here. Naturally, if the developers feel that the DPL's delegates' decisions are wrong, they may override via a general resolution per the Constitution.

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