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Re: An amendment (Re: Formal CFV: General Resolution to Abolish Non-Free)

Nicely Said!

On Fri, 16 Jun 2000, Brian Mays wrote:

> Before everyone becomes huffy over my last statement, please let me
> explain.  Our definition of free (i.e., the DFSG) is arbitrary.  It is
> not some divine revelation, handed down from above and written in stone.
> Mostly it is a compromise that was reached after serious debate of what
> we wanted to include in our official distribution, and it contains
> parts that were added solely to allow us to distribute specific useful
> software in main.  The document itself mentions that it is a compromise.
> The arguments that I've seen on this list that free software is good,
> non-free software is evil are silly.  In many cases, the difference
> between the two is relatively small when compared to what the proponents
> of this type of argument would like to cite as examples.  Unfortunately,
> these skewed examples are usually employed to further argue that
> non-free software developers -- by which they imply proprietary software
> developers -- are unfairly using the resources of Debian to distribute
> their software and thereby are getting a free ride.  Rubbish!
> If Debian is about our definition of free software and nothing else,
> then John's resolution makes perfect sense.  If Debian is about
> volunteering to integrate and distribute software (even for the sake of
> free software), then I can't agree that the resolution is in our best
> interest.
> - Brian
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