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On Monday 29 September 2003 03:35, Barak Pearlmutter wrote:
> (2) No practical problems have arisen from allowing snippets to be
> included. No one has proposed any gedanken practical problem.
> Generally we decide that something is bad (a violation of the DFSG or
> social contract) because we come up with a gedanken problem with it.
> This has served as an excellent acid test, and has kept debian-legal
> grounded and effective despite its chaotic nature.
There is no need to point to a gedanken practical problem, as there is already
a real problem with unmodifiable snippets: You can not make derived works
The thought experiments that are being used in the interpretation of the DFSG
should answer, among others, the question whether a particular condition
makes it merely difficult or unreasonably difficult to modify a work. It is
not sufficient to show that most likely you would not want to modify the
> (3) Snippets can help people understand the circumstances surrounding
> the creation of some software, understand the author, and in general
> be edifying educational and entertaining. The GNU Manifesto is a
> good example. But as my canonical example I'm going to use a copy of
> the heart-rending email from his cancer-stricken and now deceased
> sister that inspired an upstream author to study molecular biology,
> work on colon-cancer oncogenes, and write a biosequence-processing
> program which is packaged for Debian. Removing such snippets would
> serve no purpose but to separate us from our roots and impoverish our
It would serve the purpose of getting Debian closer to what the project set
out to create. It is beside the point whether these snippets would be useful,
or interesting if they do not fulfil the criteria for inclusion. If you would
like to distribute historical or heart-rending information that is not DFSG
free, then you will either need to get the purpose of the project changed, or
Debian is going to be something different from what it says on the cover.
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- From: Barak Pearlmutter <email@example.com>