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Re: Is this license DFSG free?

* Sean Kellogg ::

> On Saturday 11 June 2005 03:21 pm, Anthony DeRobertis wrote:
> > Sean Kellogg wrote:
> > > Well now, this strikes me as a problem....  from a political
> > > science perspective (my undergrad degree).  Debian-legal, a
> > > self-appointed group of various legal, political, an
> > > philosophical stripes, is making substantive policy decisions
> > > based on thin air?
> >
> > No. Debian-legal does not make policy decisions. Debian-legal
> > advises the ftp-masters, who make the actual policy decisions
> > (and, it does seem that they generally agree with our advice).
> > The ftp-masters are appointees of the elected project leader.
> Well, that's certainly a great deal better, structurally.  I guess
> I've never really seen any ftp-master discussion on this list...
> but then again, I don't know their names, so I wouldn't really
> know who was who.  But at least there is some amount of
> accountability.
> The fact remains that it is far too easy to criticize d-l if
> operations continue under this system.  I've been on this list for
> almost 4 years, with special attention ever since I entered law
> school...  I know the sort of round-and-round fights that go on
> here that later get presented in FAQ's as consensus.  

Do you care giving an example of this, please? I can't think of any.
> As I said, I've never actually heard an ftp-master agree or
> disagree with the list...  but if I were in their position I would
They (ftpmasters) make their voices heard off-list, in a most
authoritative way: allowing something to enter the archive or not,
or maybe even removing something from Debian.

> have a hard time accepting advice from a forum who can't point to
> language that backs their claim.

??! This is kind of offensive IMHO. Can you give examples, too?
> > [And, FYI, if you check the mailing list's archives, you'll find
> > that the currenty project leader helped in drafting some of
> > those tests. So, I suppose, we could probably ask him to give
> > those tests the project's official blessing. However, there does
> > not seem to be any need to do so.]
> Yes, I know that he was involved with developing these tests, and
> I know that he takes a very expansive view of the DFSG.  My point
> is not to impinge on the good leader's opinions...  only to note
> that a poor organizational structure can still come to good
> decisions.  More importantly, the DPL does not have  authority to
> state that these tests are extensions of the DFSG.  I may not be a
> DD, but I have read the Constitution :)

Maybe your understanding of the Constitution and the Social Contract
is the problem (maybe my understanding of them is the problem, too):
To know what is and what is not DFSG-free is the job of the
ftpmasters, guided by the Guidelines, and (at *their* discretion)
aided by discussions on d-l. The FAQs, tests, summaries of d-l
discussions exist only to aid d-l itself in further discussing. The
dissident test is a good example of something that does not directly
influence the ftpmasters but could influence d-l in reaching
(partial?) consensus if some software is Free or not. /In/ /casu/,
there is a strong feeling that if some software cannot pass the
dissident test, it cannot be free software, because the ability to
modify and distribute modified versions of the software is impaired
(goes against the DFSG).


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