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Re: Licenses for DebConf6

On Sun, 13 Nov 2005 12:13:51 +1000, Anthony Towns <aj@azure.humbug.org.au> said: 

> On Fri, Nov 11, 2005 at 10:21:08PM -0600, Manoj Srivastava wrote:

> 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.

        This is a conference for Debian development. By definition,
 Debian is 100%free. Am I mistaken in assuming that people
 contributing to Debian are already familiar with the social contract,
 and have decided to conform to it? (If now, why try to help Debian,
 which, as a project, has ratified the SC, and thus the DFSG == free

        Is there a need for us to invite software bits that are not
 free? Would we not be better off espousing the cause of freedom of
 software, even though doing so means I can't include all kinds of
 nifty stuff like cedega to run Quicken in Etch, or non-free papers in
 a conference of Debian developers?

> 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?

        Are you now advocating we throw open contribution to Debian to
 all kinds of licenses for software content, and not run away from the
 non-free software by refusing to do so?

> (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)

        Hmm. While making tweaking other peoples nose as a criteria
 selecting a license for content I have created seems bizarre and
 juvenile to me, but you are not me, and it is your prerogative.

> 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.

        Hmm. Blogs and mail, where the content is percieved to be the
 opinion of the author, and notratified by the project, seems
 definitely different from invited talks and papers, with the
 invitation coming from Debian developers, for a conference related to
 Debian development, and where the Debian project defrays the cost of
 the presenters -- a hole new ball game, no?

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

        I see. The project using funds to defray expenses of people
 who attend the conference counts for nothing, eh? You see nothing
 wrong in the Debian project paying for  a paper with a non-free
 content? So we would be paying for non-free software (which
 represents a presentation)?

        Somehow, I kinda find that ... unusual, to say the least.

> In the same way that non-free, which is distributed by DEbian, can

        I am glad you brought that up. I think the world has changed
 since we last looked at that issue, and perhjaps 2006 is a  good year
 to re-examine that via a fresh GR?

> 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?

        Actually, if it is considered a part of Debian by a
 significant number of observers, we are failing to clearly mark
 content as non-free, and should take steps so as to not dilute our
 message of the importance of freedom of software.

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

        I beg to differ.

> 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.

        So, you are advocating shipping, say, EULA'd sotware in
 Debian, and letting the best software win, and the hell with the
 DFSG? Or, if not, why the difference in your stance?

>> 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.

        No. It just means I have no opinion on that in this mailing
 list, which is about Debian development, and not about convincing
 random people and organizations of the virtues of freedom of

        That would be off topic here, and should be taken up onm
 -project or debian-advocacy.


Children are natural mimics who act like their parents despite every
effort to teach them good manners.
Manoj Srivastava   <srivasta@debian.org>  <http://www.debian.org/%7Esrivasta/>
1024D/BF24424C print 4966 F272 D093 B493 410B  924B 21BA DABB BF24 424C

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