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Re: A new practical problem with invariant sections?

On Mon, Feb 13, 2006 at 02:34:32AM -0600, Peter Samuelson wrote:
> Nothing in the SC or DFSG requires Debian to accept any software that
> comes along and adheres to the letter of the DFSG.  


the convention so far, though, has been "if it's free and someone can
be bothered packaging it, then it can go in the archive". this has been
argued numerous times, usually over packages like purity or the bible or
other non-technical documents. whenever it has come up, it has always
ended in "if it's free, it will be accepted", a result consistent with
maximal freedom.

> As a hypothetical, if the software required Debian's FTP servers to
> keep the source available for 10 years, unconditionally, we'd probably
> refuse to ship that software on the grounds that that would be a PITA.
> Likewise, I think that "FDL-licensed content may be DFSG-free, but
> considering the practical problems it causes us, we'd rather not ship
> any of it" is a consistent and reasonable position to take.

perhaps so(*), but that is an ENTIRELY different issue to the question of
whether the GFDL is free or not.

the zealots have claimed (repeatedly) that the GFDL is non-free. so far,
they have yet to come up with any proof of their claim.

ordinarily, in any sane environment, a bogus claim without any proof
would just wither away and die. unfortunately, there are a number of
extremely loud zealots who keep on pushing the issue, aided and abetted
by the fact that one of their number is the debian project secretary who
consistently interprets reality in terms of loony zealot dogma. so this
stupid issue never dies.


(*) i don't have any particular problem with that line of argument.
i don't agree with or support it in any way, but at least it's not
dishonest. if debian wants to exclude stuff for convenience reasons,
then fair enough - but lying to pretend that the reason is that it's
non-free when it's really just inconvenient is inexcusable.

craig sanders <cas@taz.net.au>           (part time cyborg)

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