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Re: Fwd: reiser4 non-free?

On Thu, 29 Apr 2004, Hans Reiser wrote:
> So hopefully, Debian can print out some nice warning that Reiser4 is
> not plagiarizable, and if the user indicates that they still want to
> use it anyway, they can go forward.

We have to ascertain as well that we can even legally distribute
it. Assuming reiser4 is not a derivative work of any other GPLed code,
there shouldn't be a problem with it in non-free, but if it is, we
cannot distribute it at all, as the extra clarifications clearly are
not GPL compatible.

> I find Debian's aggressive behavior toward myself, and especially
> Richard Stallman and his GFDL, to be inappropriate and ungrateful,

Just to clarify, what you are seeing is individuals who may (or may
not) be associated with the Debian project, not Debian itself. [This
is no less different than conflating yourself with the University of
Erlangen-Nürnberg or Richard with the FSF.]

> I also understand that Debian is striving to define its morality,
> and that much of the world shares its rather asian attitude towards
> whether it is acceptable to not credit others for their
> contributions to science. I do not. I think the western approach of
> rigor in attribution has been of great value in stimulating
> innovation over the centuries, and think it should be applied to
> free software as much as it was to free science research.

I don't think anyone involved in Debian or in the larger Debian
community feels that you or Richard, or any other contributor to the
Free Software movement should fail to be properly recognized for their
voluminous contributions to the movement.

What I, and others who also have contributed to this movement object
to is the abridging of freedoms to attain the secondary goal of
rigorous attribution.

I know in my own scientific work I expect that people who use the
ideas that come from my work to cite and refer to the work which
spawned their ideas in an appropriate manner. However, I am loth to
define exactly how they refer to my work, as this can be as stifling
to their ability to build upon my work as me failing to publish or
communicate it.

Rest assured that many of us are practitioners of rigorous attribution
and would not fail to attribute someone appropriately. However, we are
also well aware that the nature of attribution changes from medium to
medium, and that a form of attribution rigorously defined by license
would necessarily interfere with the ability of the end user to modify
the work in ways that are traditionally embraced by the Free Software
community at large.

As always, if I can assist you in finding a method to bring your
wishes in harmony with the DFSG and Debian, please don't hesitate to
let me know.

Don Armstrong

If you wish to strive for peace of soul, then believe; if you wish to
be a devotee of truth, then inquire.
 -- Friedrich Nietzsche


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