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Re: Anti-TPM clauses




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?

To be free in Debian means to be considered free by the Debian community. If the case remains contentious after a decision taken by the ftp masters there is the possibility of a vote. I really think that there are indeed a consensus among the Debian community that [CC by-sa 3.0] and this is the reason there is no vote. A few participants of eEbian legal (5 or maximum 10) not representative of the Debian community have decided otherwise and they thing they are a valid jury that can take official decision.


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.



No it is not absurd. For a contentious case the final depend to a decision as to the restrictions imposed by the license are acceptable or not. The DFSG only states guidelines; they say approximatively where to draw the line but there are not an absolute line that permit to decide. It is perfectly conceivable that a restriction considered free in the past would not be considered free anymore without violating the DFSG (or vice-versa).

Olive



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