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Re: Documentation and Sarge's Release Critical Policy

On Tue, 2003-08-26 at 16:28, Jérôme Marant wrote:
> Quoting Steve Langasek <vorlon@netexpress.net>:
> > > If they'd be out of the scope of DFSG, why would we care of them being
> > > there or not? I see nothing wrong in distributing Free Software
> > > advocacy.
> > 
> > If we distribute it, it is currently not out of the scope of the DFSG.
> > If you have a problem with this, write a GR -- but stop with the
> > pointless grandstanding.
> Software in Debian is 100% free. It doesn't prevent Debian to
> distribute something else than software.

The social contract says Debian will remain 100% free software. Not that
Debian's software will remain 100% free. Bruce Perens has already
stepped up to clarify that this is in fact the intent of the DFSG - that
it applies to *everything* in Debian.

If you think that Debian's software should remain 100% free, but
Debian's non-software, if such a thing exists, does not need to be free,
then propose a GR. debian-legal is not the place to propose GRs.

> > Oh, and where the GFDL is concerned, what you apparently mean to say is,
> > "I see nothing wrong with requiring all distributors to also
> > distribute Free Software advocacy".  I do: it's a restriction on
> > freedom.
> Free software is based on restrictions because they are needed to
> guaranty freedom. Free software obliges me to publish the source
> code with binaries. So, if I understand correctly, I'm not free
> to do what I want with my source?

You are free to do whatever you want with *your* source, just not
someone else's source.

In situations where you are dealing with someone else's source, the GPL
restricts you only insofar as it makes you give everyone else the same
rights you had. The GFDL does not do this, because you can add invariant
sections, and take away others' rights.

> Free software advocacy is such a restriction I do consider as
> acceptable.

There are many things in this world more important, I think, than free
software. Many people would agree with me about most of then (ending war
and hunger, providing universal education, an end to racism, and so on).
If we consider free software advocacy an acceptable restriction because
we believe free software to be important, do we also accept advocacy for
all of these as acceptable restrictions?

What about anti-nuclear power advocacy? What about pro-racism advocacy?

The GFDL's invariant sections are not restricted to things you agree
with. If a useful program's GFDLd manual has an invariant pro-racism
diatribe in it, will you distribute the manual?

What if it has a pro-proprietary software diatribe?

> > > > that a "verbatim copying only" license is Free?)
> > 
> > > I claim that a speech is not software documentation and shall not be
> > > considered as such. You shall not modify someone speech, you shall
> > > not cut some part of someone's speech and tell everyone that you
> > > wrote it, and so on.
> > > There are limits everywhere in everyone's freedom.
> > 
> > We shall not distribute it.
> This is an extreme vision of freedom I do not share.

So Debian doesn't have the freedom to *not* distribute GNU manuals? This
makes no sense.
Joe Wreschnig <piman@debian.org>

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