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Re: Software in main that is throughly useless without non-free software

*Branden Robinson wrote:

  Unfortunately, I don't think there is one answer.  In they hypothetical
apple case, it's clear that the client should go into contrib.  In this
case, it is not punishment, it just makes people aware of what they are
doing when they get that client.
 But what if a free client is a good tool for working on implementing a free
server? Would putting it in contrib stigmatize it?  I guess this is not too
much of a sacrifice, because, if people are using a free client to
understand a server, presumably, they know what the issues are and what they
are doing, and it does not matter to them that it was in contrib.
> We *do* care if, say, Apple comes up with some kind of streaming media
> server and patents the codec.  They release the viewer/playback engine
> under a free license, but the encoder/authoring tool is proprietary, and
> furthermore they have a patent on the codec algorithm, so no one can even
> try (legally) to reverse-engineer it and release a competing authoring tool
> under the GPL.  Do we put the player into main?  This example is a bit less
> clear than the ICQ example, but let's think about it.  Does this scenario
> really do anything for free software?  You're allowed to eat, but not to
> cook.  This shackles you to the restauranteurs.

John Lapeyre <lapeyre@physics.arizona.edu>,  lapeyre@debian.org
Tucson,AZ     http://www.physics.arizona.edu/~lapeyre

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