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Re: Licenses for DebConf6

On Fri, Nov 11, 2005 at 10:21:08PM -0600, Manoj Srivastava wrote:
>         Because sometimes one feels the need to fight for what is
>  right? Even if people feel far more comfortable with just sweeping
>  stuff under the carpet, and not brought out in the open?

You know, I was going to say something like "fighting, fighting,
fighting; why isn't coding good enough", but to be honest, I don't
really believe that anyway, or I wouldn't be subscribed to this list.

But instead, what I'm led to wonder is if this is really standing up for
our beliefs and fighting the good fight, or actually just trying to avoid
those issues. Because insisting non-free stuff not appear at debconf seems
like trying to avoid acknowledging its existence in the same manner as
"sweeping stuff under the carpet", rather than having the non-free stuff
appear and trying to convince possibly disagreeable folks that the DFSG's
terms really are worth following no matter what your goals.

The world at large has lots of non-free licenses for content -- if we
wanted to run away from that fact and avoid it, wouldn't we create a
little enclave of our own with guards at the gate telling everyone who
doesn't meet our standards to go back home, in the same way debconf is?

(Hrm, I'm actually not sure why I chose the CC license now; I thought
I remembered the dc5 CFP said papers had to be GPLed or CCed, and that
tweaking all the mindless DFSG bigots by licensing my paper in a way
that's adequately free, yet not DFSG-free would be fun. But the dc5 CC
stuff was actually just for the recordings, afaics, so maybe that wasn't
it, or maybe I was just confused. Oh well)

> > My blog's licensed under the CC No-derivs/non-commerical license for
> > much the same reasons as most of RMS's writings aren't DFSG-free;
> > but that's fine -- I'm not trying to get them to become the basis of
> > a developer community or similar, and that's why I'm not bothered by
> > not having comments on my blog, either.
>         And, thankfully, they do not come with the imprimatur of the
>  Debian project, as Debconf seems to.

My blog's aggregated on planet.debian.org; these lists posts (that
aren't explicitly licensed at all, let alone DFSG-freely) are archived
on lists.debian.org, and bug related conversations (which likewise are
generally only implicitly licensed) are archived on bugs.debian.org.

Of these, debconf probably is the one that makes least use of the
"imprimatur of the Debian project", being hosted at debconf.org.

>         If Debian lends it names to a compilation of papers
>  distributed by it, such as it may be construed as the compilation
>  product of the Debian project, or in any way part of Debian, we are
>  constrained to have that compilation be free.

In the same way that non-free, which is distributed by DEbian, can be
construed as the product of the Debian project or in any way part of
Debian, then we're constrained to have non-free be free?

That's a deeply erroneous argument, both at a factual level, and as

It's far more effective to advocate for something by demonstrating
you're not prejudiced against the alternatives, and simply in favour
of the best thing winning, and that you, personally, think the best
thing is free software. You not only get your point across, but you
also get to establish that you're not in denial about the strengths of
your opposition and that your judgement and arguments can be listened
to without having to filter out too much self-serving bias.

>         If, of course, Debconf is a independent entity, not related to
>  Debian, then I have no opinion, [...]

Which strikes me as odd; personally, I think everyone should be doing
DFSG-free software and free content, whether they're related to Debian
or not. So I wonder if that attitude isn't part of giving up on the fight.


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