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Re: Desert island test

On Thu, 28 Feb 2008 23:42:06 -0800 Sean Kellogg wrote:

> On Thursday 28 February 2008 04:09:34 pm Francesco Poli wrote:
> > So to conclude, I think it is actually true that there's no way for
> > someone to *compel* Debian to accept a given license as "free".
> The question being asked is "Is there any way for me to compel Debian to 
> accept that my license is free?" and the answer is "convince a DD to propose 
> a GR, get it seconded, and convince the sufficient number of DDs to support 
> your proposal."

But that is *not* a way to compel Debian to accept the license as
"free".  It's a way to *persuade* Debian (to be more precise: the Debian
Project) to accept the license as "free".

> I trust you will see how this is strikingly different 
> from "no". The page makes it sound as if -legal is the final arbiter, which 
> is simply untrue.

Debian-legal is not the final arbiter, but I don't see how the page
could imply it is...

> The fact that the questioner cannot vote (assuming they are not a DD, which is 
> not implied by the question) does not deny the existence of an avenue to 
> compel, it simply means it requires the assistance of others to do so, which 
> is the case with pretty much every activity I engage in every moment of every 
> day.

Look, I cannot stress it more than this: if you *convince* the majority
of the members of an organization that the organization should do
something, you are *not* *compelling* the organization to do that
thing; you're just *persuading* the organization to do it... 

> I cannot compel my neighbor to stop throwing his trash into my yard, but 
> if I go to a judge and get an order for a police officer to do something 
> about it, I very much doubt my neighbor is going to quibble over who, 
> exactly, is doing the "compelling."

But there's no law that compels Debian to accept a license as "free",
so you cannot go to a judge and get an order for a police officer.  It's
up to the Debian Project to decide if it accepts a license as "free".

If you go through the GR method, you are not compelling Debian, you're
persuading it.  In your example, the GR method corresponds to going to
your neighbor and suggest that he/she proposes a vote among his/her
family members to decide if they want to stop throwing trash into your
yard or else go on doing so.  You don't have vote right, but you
obviously can try and persuade your neighbor's family members to vote
for "stop throwing".  You're not compelling anyone, you're trying to
persuade them!
You can even try to get vote right... by becoming a family member of
your neighbor: you can go through the NM, ooops, NB (= New Boyfriend)
process and finally get married with your neighbor's daughter.  At that
point you could get vote right, but you still have to persuade your
(new) relatives to vote for "stop throwing": again, it's persuasion,
not compelling!

Have I to repeat my usual disclaimers?

 New! Version 0.6 available! What? See for yourself!
..................................................... Francesco Poli .
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