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Re: Suggestions of David Nusinow, was: RPSL and DFSG-compliance - choice of venue

On Fri, Jul 30, 2004 at 03:39:01AM -0700, Don Armstrong wrote:
> On Fri, 30 Jul 2004, David Nusinow wrote:
> > This is going to sound really bad, and I'm not trying to stir up
> > trouble in saying this, but perhaps the guidelines need weakening?
> So we should be willing to give up more of the freedom that we now
> need in order to have a work in Debian?

Perhaps. It seems that a number of people want this. I'm simply raising the
question as a possibility.

> > current interpretation of freedom is more restrictive than that of
> > the FSF, 
> It's not that we're more restrictive than the FSF. It's almost exactly
> the opposite. We're more expansive with the freedoms that we
> require. In many cases we've decided that specific freedoms are
> important, and the FSF has decided that being pragmatic is better than
> retaining the freedom.

The issue though is that the project as a whole has agreed to the freedoms
guaranteed by the DFSG, but specific interpretations that aren't clear from the
DFSG are being used in conjunction with the DFSG itself. These specific
freedoms haven't necessarily been agreed to by the rest of the project, which
is why Steve and I have suggested actually attempting to take the step and see
if the project really does agree with them. It might be that the majority of
the project isn't so far from the FSF. Note that I'm not placing forth my own
opinion on the subject one way or another really so much as advocating a real
communication where I only see a large split right now. Perhaps modifying the
DFSG isn't the best way to go about this (and it's definitely the last thing
that I'd resort to) but it should not be ruled out all together.

> > I echo his point that this probably needs to be justified.
> In all of the cases to date, where we've gone against the
> interpretation of the FSF, we've done so with very careful
> justification of the reasoning behind our difference in opinion, and
> how that springs from the DFSG.
> The few thousand messages on the GFDL are a reasonable example of the
> process of justification that we have gone through.

If there's one thing I would never accuse the participants of this list of,
it's lack of care and thoroughness. My real concern is simply to allow these
carefully formed conclusions to reflect the will of the project as a whole.

 - David Nusinow

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