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Re: QPL and non-free

Matthew Garrett writes:

> Manoj Srivastava <srivasta@debian.org> wrote:
> > On Wed, 21 Dec 2005 02:08:13 +0000, Matthew Garrett <mgarrett@chiark.greenend.org.uk> said: 
> > 
> >> But the DFSG are intended to be a more detailed description of what
> >> free software (a term initially defined by the FSF) is.
> > 
> >         Whatever gave you the idea? The DFSG are supposed to define
> >  what _Debian_ means by "free" in the social contract. The FSF is over
> >  there.
> At no point during the DFSG discussion does anyone seem to suggest that
> we're redefining free software. Rather, we're making it clear what
> aspects of freedom we care about. It's supposed to lead to pretty much
> the same end result.

Why do you think it is supposed to lead to nearly the same end result?

> >> If the DFSG are wildly divergent from the FSF's viewpoint, we need
> >> to figure out how and why.
> > 
> >         Err, that's simple. We are not the BORG. We have different
> >  views -- just look at us hosting non-free software, which made
> >  the FSF unable to recommend us. And the GFDL, which we call
> >  non-free. Different bodies. Different goals. Different
> >  optinons. Different views. Gee, I would be surprise if our definition
> >  of free software was identical, actually.
> The GFDL is a red herring. The FSF don't try to claim it's a free
> software license.

The FSF distinguishes between software and documentation, and Debian
refuses to.  This makes the FSF's freeness claims about the GFDL

> >> Having two different definitions of free software does nothing to
> >> help the community.
> > 
> >         Diversity of opinions harms the community? How fragile it must
> >  be, in your view.
> Diversity of opinions hurts the members of the community who find that a
> license they thought was free isn't by our standards. I'm not sure who
> it actually benefits.

Members of the community will have that problem anyway, since
different people have both different values and different
interpretations of fact.  Examples include the Apache 2 license GPL
compatibility question, the OpenSSL GPL incompatibility, the
distinction between "free software" and OSI's "open source"
definition, and so fourt.

Michael Poole

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