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Re: A possible GFDL compromise: a proposal

Mathieu Roy <yeupou@gnu.org> writes:

> Roland Mas <lolando@debian.org> a tapoté :

> > Or are you also implying that
> > the Debian project members shouldn't ever be allowed near non-free
> > software either, even for their daily job?
> If their daily job is paid by Debian and for Debian (excluding
> non-free and contrib, which are not in any sense par of Debian) , I
> think they should not be using proprietary software.

Ignoring the fact that Debian does not have the money to pay for
someone's daily job, this is a ridiculous statement. If you port
Debian to a platform which does not yet have free compilers, you are
not allowed to use the proprietary compiler first? If I need computer
algebra systems in my paid-for Debian research, I am not allowed to
use Maple or Mathematica because they are not free? (And no, there
are no free replacements which even come close in functionality.) Am I
allowed to read the NY Times, even though it is non-free, or do I have
to get all my news from some free news site? Oh, and for that matter,
most computers have non-free firmware, is that also prohibited? 

> >   And that's how the FSF and the GNU project produce non-free
> > documentation, is it?  Oh, sorry, I forgot, the freedom criteria only
> > applies to software released as software, not software embedded in
> > documentation.
> Yes, you forgot that there are several definitions of freedom around.

Yes, of course, Saddam Hussein and George W. Bush both defended the
freedom of the Iraqi people, they just had different definitions. Do
you think we should not judge on those different definitions? For that
matter, I think Debian has been pretty consistent with sticking to its
definition of freedom, considering the size of the project. On the
other hand, the FSF seems to be dominated by one person, and of course
that makes it easier to be consistent, though I think it actually
makes it harder to get it right.

> >   Don't get me wrong: I have a tremendous respect for the FSF and
> > the GNU project and what they do, but they shouldn't give Debian
> > lessons on consistency of policies.
> I speak for myself. And anybody on earth is entitled to talk about
> Debian or the FSF.

Sure, but you remember RMS' allergic reactions if our criticism
indicated that we would like him to consider our opinion in
changing/shaping GNU licenses? I think Debian has been quite open to
criticism from outside, contrary to the FSF's total ignorance of all
the comments on the GFDL when it was drafted. The discussion seems to
have come to the core issue now, and it is that Debian's definition of
freedom is stricter than that of the FSF. Both Debian developers and
RMS (strange grammatical construct, is that correct? I don't mean to
indicate that Debian has only 2 developers...) have stated that in
some messages in this thread.

> > Submit bugs where our policies are not being followed, yes.  Tell us
> > they are inconsistent, no.  Not before the GFDL problem is fixed.
> Your policies are also mine, as I'm a Debian applicant and a Debian
> user. And at this point I think that some parts of the policy are not
> as clear one may think at start.

Which parts are unclear? You seem to be dragging this out and trying
to pretend the issue is still unclear. I think it is getting clearer
by the minute, and the consequence for the moment is to move GFDL
documents with invariant sections and cover texts to non-free. I am
not sure about the non-transparency issue, I have not lost all hope
there yet. If you really think that Debian should accept the GFDL,
then draft a general resolution. Though you are not a developer yet,
there are some DDs who share your opinion and you might get someone to
propose it. I think it would be a wasted effort because the chances of
getting even a simple majority for it seem slim, but it would be much
more productive than muddying the waters of this endless threat even
more. (Speaking of that, I can't think of much which would be less


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