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Re: snippets

On Mon, Sep 29, 2003 at 08:06:12PM +0300, Richard Braakman wrote:
> On Mon, Sep 29, 2003 at 10:01:19AM -0400, Jeremy Hankins wrote:
> > Burden of proof arguments are, at best, very trick to make -- I
> > suggest you not rely on it.  Certainly I don't buy it in this case.
> > Unless you can actually point to someplace that says this is current
> > practice, I don't think you have a basis for saying that it is
> > actually a conscious practice at all.
> Well... you would have to claim that the people who drafted and
> discussed the Social Contract, and the 90 who voted for it, were
> unaware of the GNU Manifesto and its presence in the emacs packages.
> This is an extraordinary claim.  The document was, if anything,
> better known then than it is now (at least if you divide by the
> size of the free software community).  I certainly knew about it
> long before I got involved with Debian.

I daresay we were a lot less careful about licensing issues back then
than we are now.  It was only at the *end* of 1998 that the debian-legal
list was even created.

Debian now has a legally-minded "subculture", complete with occasional
contributions from Real Lawyers to supplement all the armchair blowhards
like myself.

Unless you can find some evidence in the -private archives that the GNU
Manifesto was specifically mentioned and a conclusion reached, I
wouldn't draw any conclusions now.  It may well be that several people
did think about the issue but decided to punt on it.

Remember, this was back in the days before we had a Constitution, and
were operating under the style of leadership of Bruce "Damn the
torpedoes, full speed ahead!" Perens.[1]

[1] Well, there are *actual* quotes from Bruce I could use instead, but
    they aren't suitable for a family mailing list.  :)

G. Branden Robinson                |     Good judgement comes from
Debian GNU/Linux                   |     experience; experience comes from
branden@debian.org                 |     bad judgement.
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |     -- Fred Brooks

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