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Re: Ironies abound (was Re: GPL v3 draft)

Michio Ray <mjr@phonecoop.coop> wrote:

> Is not looking bad more important than getting it right eventually?
> (Start aliasing submit@bugs to /dev/null: a big BTS looks bad.)


> Another irony. I thought Matthew Garrett usually argued for
> changing views at the drop of a hat. For example, changing
> position and letting the project sell stuff near the end of
> http://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2005/09/msg00091.html
> even though saying "we used to say that we wouldn't compete
> with debian retailers, but now we've decided that we will"
> looks astonishingly bad.

You seem to have misunderstood me. I'm not saying that changing our
minds on things is bad. I'm saying that diverging from the rest of the
community for no good reason looks bad. It's hardly as if patch clauses
were badly understood when the DFSG were written. There's no way you can
claim "Oh, they didn't know what they were talking about". The people
who wrote this document considered the issue and decided that the
practical implications were not sufficiently offensive to avoid
describing them as free.

Since then, the practical freedoms provided by patch clauses have
increased. Altering the DFSG would be a clear redefinition of our stance
on freedom, and there would be no way that anyone could argue that it
was in any way in line with community consensus. Do I think that would
look bad? Yes, I do. The DFSG should reflect reality, like our website
should do.

Matthew Garrett | mjg59-chiark.mail.debian.legal@srcf.ucam.org
My preferred name is "you"

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