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Re: DRAFT for a GR proposal concerning the Sarge release

Thiemo Seufer wrote:

As I understand it, Debian makes a point of considering the interests of 'unrelated third part[ies]', especially when it comes to the chance of copyright infringement.
So does Debian consider the interests of SCO then? They also claim
copyright infringement.
I'd hope so, in as much as Debian provides SCO (like all other users) with a high quality collection of Free software (No discrimination against fields of endeavour, remember :)

If a fully working, tested solution to load non-free firmware from userland into the kernel (thus avoiding the linking problem) fell from the sky tomorrow, I suspect very few people would suggest that it was A Bad Thing, and that the kernel was better when it had potentially dubious, non-free blobs in it.

Linking means to bind some object files together. Those firmwares
aren't distributed as object files.  Which relies on the rather weak legal theory that compiled in
firmware is part of a derived work, while the same firmware in
a ramdisk image (or even a CD image) suddenly constitutes a
collection of works.
It can be argued under the new social contract amendments that many of these blobs are non-free, and have to go, whether or not they can be included in the kernel image without violating the GPL.

If nothing else, it would make the kernel image with the firmwares and the kernel image without the firmwares identical; loading these blobs in at run-time would mean that kernel-blobs-non_free could be packaged separately, saving the pain of having to maintain kernel-image and kernel-image-non_free.

a delayed Sarge would be annoying, but the products that are necessary for an 'anally-free' Sarge would be of great benefit to users of both Debian, and Free Software in general.

What exactly are these great benefits? I see diminished driver support
and a lack of documentation, or alternatively non-free as a rather
mandatory part of a Debian installation.

Ah. I was seeing clean-roomed/relicensed firmwares, rewritten, Free documentation, etc. I assumed that the reason for the delay was due to reverse-engineering, documentation, and re-licensing. Best case, I was envisaging a back-down by the FSF over the GFDL, and the reintroduction of much of the documentation, under a Free license.

Surely it can't take nine months just to take out the stuff that's been declared non-free, and not replace it at all?

> And this still doesn't count
> the fight if a jpeg or some font descriptions can be source.
I'm not touching that one with a 60 foot pole.

Clause four of (even the unamended) social contract, in my opinion, suggests that later is better than less free, and thus the amendment was The Right Thing, even though it may delay Sarge.

In my opinion, invoking the Social Contract is Debian's version of
Godwin's Law.

I'd say that it beats Godwin's Law, as the Social Contract is (at least supposed to be :) relevant to the discussion at hand.

Lewis Jardine

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