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Re: Respect for Upstream Authors and Snippets of Interest

Jan Schumacher <uzs5p3@uni-bonn.de> writes:

> > > Fair enough. However, all of these statements are removable, and their
> > > modification is probably not prohibited by the license.
> >
> > The flow of the argument was: one example of Debian's respect for
> > upstream authors is not removing these requests and offers.  If they
> > were unremovable, this would have made a poor example.
> If they are also modifiable, then they are most likely also DFSG-free by the 
> strictest interpretation. I don't think anyone has argued to remove such 
> texts.

You seem to be having trouble following this.

Again, I was referring to unmodifiable but removable snippets.  Like a
copy of the heart-rending email from his cancer-stricken sister that
inspired an upstream author to study molecular biology, work on
colon-cancer oncogenes, and write a biosequence-processing program,
which is being packaged for Debian.  Stuff like that.  Stuff that is
not modifiable, of interest, reasonable to include, not code, not
documentation, not technical in nature, not part of the program but
merely accompanying it, and small compared to the technical thing it
accompanies.  Stuff whose removal would often impoverish our
understanding of the circumstances of a work's creation.

De-facto, we allow such snippets in Debian.  It would be reasonable to
discuss whether this informal but longstanding policy should be
changed.  But that would be new separate topic, which (if we choose to
discuss it) should be divorced from attempts to resolve the GFDL
question.  It would also be a highly controversial proposal, and its
consequences would be far-reaching.  No upstream source eschews such
snippets, and no other free software organization has any problem with
them.  Scanning all our packages for such snippets would be a truly
gargantuan task.

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