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Bug#594542: debian-policy: add descriptions for main, contrib, and non-free archive areas

On Sat, 2010-08-28 at 07:35 -0400, CJ Fearnley wrote:
> > 
> > I don't think CJ is advocating changing the DFSG, but rather is concerned
> > that the way the DFSG is worded may not make it clear to people what the
> > motivation is and what the implications are for users.  In other words, a
> > rephrasing or preamble, not any sort of normative modification, that says
> > "this means you can use the software for absolutely anything you want."
> > 
> > I can see that point, although I'm not sure that it makes that much
> > difference for Policy, since Policy is largely aimed at people who are
> > reasonably familiar with Debian and are looking for technical guidance.
> > 
> > I would tend to point people at http://www.debian.org/intro/free or some
> > similar sort of place to explain the motivation and background for what
> > Debian means by free.
> Russ' interpretation of my thinking is correct.  I certainly don't want
> to change the DFSG.
> I'm thinking about a customer who is afraid of using Debian for some
> business purpose, for example.  Their lawyers have spread fear and
> uncertainty:  beware, the BSA[1] may come after you.  They read the DFSG
> and they learn what we mean by freedom, but they still might not connect
> the dots to realize that Debian main is doing its best to effectively
> guarantee ... the four freedoms ... the best protection against BSA
> interference that a mere document can provide ... what we all know is
> our protected freedom.  But I think we haven't said it directly enough.
> http://www.debian.org/intro/free is good for a footnote, but it also
> doesn't succinctly say that Debian main tries to ensure that it can be
> freely usable and redistributable (with the requisite freedom protections
> for your users too) by anyone for any purpose.

Phew :-)

I still think I side with Russ that Policy is for people who already
understand this stuff, and we should have separate documents that
provide the overview level.  I also think that proper clarification on
these points will ideally need a multi-lingual and multi-cultural
dimension to capture the exact shades of meaning needed.


andrew (AT) morphoss (DOT) com                            +64(272)DEBIAN
       You've been leading a dog's life.  Stay off the furniture.

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