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Re: A new practical problem with invariant sections?

Craig Sanders wrote:
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.


(*) 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.

It is dishonnet because Debian will continue to ship GFDL documents in non-free which would cause the same pratical problems.

I agree that there are documents that are free but are not suited for Debian. I would agree to a policy that Debian will not ship such things such as books which are unrelated to computers (such as novels, etc...); not because they are unfree; just because this is not the purpose of Debian (I do not say however that would disagree to ship such things in Debian). Also a free but totally buggy and unusable software has not, IMHO, its place in Debian.

However the DFSG is there to juge if a license is free or not and these guidlines must be used to juge the freeness of a software. A lot of zealots in this list just invent way to reject licenses they don't like even if these complies with the DFSG; or invent some discriminations.


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