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Re: Bug#340705: rar support violates DFSG #4

Scripsit Robert Millan <rmh@aybabtu.com>

> I think I'll try to expose better my point, and also move it to -legal.

I think -legal is the wrong list. Is the license status of the
software in question? Not as far as I can see from the build log.

Your complaint appears to be that you think the software is
inappropriate for main not because of its legal status, but because it
*can* do things that you think are inappropriate for software in main
to be able to do. That is, however not a question for -legal.

For the record, I have never seen anyone argue that a piece of
software should be expelled from main simply because of the function
it can perform. In a few cases, there have been calls for not
distributing software _at all_, because its functionality was
considered distasteful (cf hot-babe), but I don't remember ever seeing
a claim that the _freedom status_ of software is affected by which
problem it solves.

If you want to institute such a notion, I'd say that the burden of
proof must be on you. Feel free to go to -project and try to raise a
consensus for treating unwanted functionality as a cause for moving a
package to non-free. But I would think it is inappropriate to start
filing bugs with severities that assume that your (so far) uncommon
position has alreay won the day.

> DFSG #4 states:

>   "We will be guided by the needs of our users and the free software
>   community. We will place their interests first in our priorities."

No it does not. DFSG #4 states: 

    "The license may restrict source-code from being distributed in
    modified form _only_ if the license allows the distribution of
    "patch files" with the source code for the purpose of modifying
    the program at build time. The license must explicitly permit
    distribution of software built from modified source code. The
    license may require derived works to carry a different name or
    version number from the original software. (This is a
    compromise. The Debian group encourages all authors not to
    restrict any files, source or binary, from being modified.)"

What you are qouting is part of point 4 of the Social Contract. Its
interpretation is not a matter for debian-legal.

Henning Makholm                           "First chapter, the plot advances,
                                 second chapter, Ayla makes a discovery that
                       significantly enhances Palaeolithic technology, third
               chapter, Ayla has sex with someone, and repeat ad infinitum."

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