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Re: Anti-TPM clauses

On Tue, 11 Sep 2007 16:42:25 +0200 Olive wrote:

> Ben Finney wrote:
> > Olive <olive001@tele2allin.be> writes:
> > 
> >> There are known example of things that are indeed DFSG-free
> > 
> > By what criterion do you decide that something is "indeed
> > DFSG-free"? If such a criterion existed, I'm sure we'd love to know
> > about it. It would make our lives on this list much simpler.
> For the GFDL; I consider a GR-vote as a valid criterion.

What if there's a popular vote that declares that the Earth is flat?
Does the Earth suddenly become flat, because of that?

> The DFSG is subject to interpretation and it is not possible to decide
> all cases definitively by just reading the terms. Debian has set rules
> to decide if a work can or cannot be considered DFSG-free (ftp masters
> GR-vote); and these rules certainly does not include a consensus on 
> Debian legal. The argument that many works in main are under the 
> creative common license is a good one. One possibility is an error of 
> the ftp masters (and a bug report should correct it);

Unless the answer is "this is not a bug", as has instead happened for
bug #431794...

> the other 
> possibility is a conscientious decision and in this case it can be 
> declared DFSG-free at least until this decision is validly reverted.

You seem to imply that a conscientious decision is by definition based
on correct reasoning and equally correct conclusions.
As if FTP masters could only be wrong when they press the wrong key on
their keyboard by mistake.
As far as I know, FTP masters are human beings and can therefore make
mistakes: both in pressing keys *and* in analyzing packages from a
DFSG-freeness point of view.

Moreover, since FTP masters do not seem to often explain the reasoning
behind their decisions, I wonder how can we understand whether they are
right or wrong, and whether we are wrong or right?

> > 
> >> but were declared non-free by "consensus" on debian legal (the GFDL
> >> without non modifiable section is an example).
> > 
> > Again, note that a GR vote only decides *what the Debian project
> > will or will not do*. Such a vote cannot declare a work DFSG-free;
> > that is a property of the work and its license terms, unaffected by
> > the result of a vote.
> > 
> Please see
> http://www.debian.org/News/2006/20060316
> and the text of the GR-vote:
> [...]
> At the same time, we also consider that works licensed under the GNU 
> Free Documentation License that include no invariant sections do fully
> meet the requirements of the Debian Free Software Guidelines.
> [...]
> This text leaves no doubt for me GFDL (without invariant section) it
> has  been declared to follow the DFSG; this is indeed what the vote
> says.

The winning option states that the Debian Project *considers* that works
such-and-such do fully meet the DFSG.
Hence, as Ben Finney said, it decided *what the Debian Project will or
will not do*: it will *consider* those works as DFSG-free.
Whether those works are indeed DFSG-free or not, is a property of the
works themselves, that cannot be changed by vote.

What if in 2008 there's a new GR that reverts GR-2006-001 and clearly
states that GFDL-licensed work are never suitable for main?
Would you say that, a work that is DFSG-free in 2007, suddenly becomes
non-free in 2008, because of that vote?!?  Without any change in the
work, nor in its license terms?!?
That would be an absurd claim.

 Need to read a Debian testing installation walk-through?
..................................................... Francesco Poli .
 GnuPG key fpr == C979 F34B 27CE 5CD8 DC12  31B5 78F4 279B DD6D FCF4

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