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Re: Respect for Upstream Authors and Snippets of Interest

"Mahesh T. Pai" <paivakil@vsnl.net> writes:

> Barak Pearlmutter said on Fri, Sep 26, 2003 at 07:31:14PM -0600,:
> > In a recent message to this list, RMS mentioned that people had stated
> > that Debian would remove all non-modifiable but removable text from
> > Debian packages:
> If Debian does not, somebody else  will, and I guess that this is what
> RMS wants to prevent.

I'm willing to bet someone _does_ remove those sections. How many 
restrictions are you willing to put on the good guys in order to 
get the bad guys?

> If  those  files  were
> modifiable / removable, and if somebody did, in fact, modify them, and
> I (or any other user) had  come across that distro, I would never have
> turned to  Debian. 

It's not like you'd find out about Debian from the FSF, anymore. I think
the evidence is that they are removable, and again I'd bet that someone
does remove them.

> one bad apple in that 'everybody'

One bad apple in that 'everybody' might distribute a broken GCC that
couldn't compile the kernel or other major chunks of code, leaving the
users to use DRM-enabled versions of the kernel. They could even have
the only version of GCC that would compile a kernel for that architecture.
There's a lot of things we could do to stop this, but most of them would
put too much trouble on the good guys (i.e. be non-free).

> I think  the only way  out would be  to create a separate  section for
> GFDl'ed docs with invariant  sections named something like GFDL-doc or
> doc-semifree (or whatever - nonfree is harsh and unwarranted term). 

There are licenses in nonfree ranging from "[...] don't even think about 
running nm on this binary" to (one semifamous, now relicensed) "here's 
the source, do whatever you want with it, just pet a cat sometime". If
you want a semifree, there's a lot more stuff that should be moved there.
I hardly see what good drawing another line between 'semifree' and 'nonfree'
will do, though.

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