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Re: Free as in speech, but not as in beer

On Tue, 31 Mar 2015 23:06:57 +0200
Paul van der Vlis <paul@vandervlis.nl> wrote:
> Op 30-03-15 om 03:33 schreef Riley Baird:
> >> Do you think RedHat Enterprise Linux is non-free software too?
> >> https://www.redhat.com/wapps/store/catalog.html
> > 
> > Yes, it is. The trademark restrictions of Red Hat prevent you from
> > distributing isos compiled from the source.
> So far I know Centos and more vendors are exactly doing that.

No they aren't. The source that CentOS uses is modified to remove
references to Red Hat.

> > How much work it was, and who the developer is is entirely irrelevant.
> > And one more thing - it doesn't matter if you convince debian-legal
> > that such a software licensing scheme is acceptable, because we don't
> > make the decisions of what goes into the archive. The FTP masters
> > decide that, and even then, they too are bound by the constitution.
> I think the constitution says that "plain AGPL" is OK.

The constitution refers to licenses, but it has come to be understood
that the upstream interpretation of, *and intentions behind*, the
license forms part of this definition.

For example, PINE had a MIT-style license, but upstream interpreted
this to mean that both modification and distribution were permitted,
but not distribution of modified copies. The solution wasn't to declare
all MIT-style licenses non-free, but rather to declare such licenses
non-free only when applied to PINE.

Before you argue that you are not like PINE, and you are granting full
permissions under the AGPL, and are only making a request, note that
the above case was only cited as precedent for the constitutional
understanding of licenses.

In your case, you are trying to make restrictions without putting them
in the copyright license, and thinking that you can get around the
constitution that way. However, your intention is to apply a
non-legally enforcable restriction that, were it in a license, would
immediately and obviously fail the DFSG, at the expense of Debian's
users. And that you threatened to "friendly request" that the software
be removed from Debian should we fail to meet your wishes, is evidence
that you are trying to (non-legally) force Debian to adopt a licensing
scheme contrary to its values.

> > In any case, this only matters if you want the software to go into
> > main. You'd *definitely* be able to get it into non-free, and it isn't
> > that hard to tell users to edit their /etc/apt/sources.list to add the
> > non-free repository. Being "only" in non-free is nothing to be ashamed
> > of. Many of the GNU manuals are there because they use the GFDL with
> > invariant sections.
> Do you want to put free software into nonfree?

Not if it's intentionally broken. In that case, I'd rather keep it out
of the archive altogether.

> > Also, it's worth noting that most people in the Linux world are not as
> > obsessed with freedom as Debian. :) 
> Do you mean freedom as in beer?

Yes. Are you happy now?

> I think the problem is, that Debian has no repository for this kind of
> software.

Exactly. We don't. And I think that from the discussion on this thread,
it is obvious that we won't be making one. Go to Ubuntu and try to sell
them on your idea.

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