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Re: Honesty in Debian (was Re: Amendment to GR on GFDL, and the changes to the Social Contract

On Mon, Feb 13, 2006 at 07:41:03AM +0100, Lionel Elie Mamane wrote:
> On Sun, Feb 12, 2006 at 07:53:39PM -0500, Glenn Maynard wrote:
> > Nobody is lying.  A "lie" is an untruth made with the intent to
> > deceive.  Debian doesn't try to hide these unmodifiable licenses;
> > it's been discussed openly on public lists many times.
> So a user has to read _all_ archives of _all_ our public mailing lists
> to get the whole picture? That's not acceptable.
> (Attacking only the argument, not what you are trying to argue.)

A user has to use common sense.  The foundation documents do not have to
preemptively explain everything imaginable: they don't have to talk about
downtime, or uncooperative upstreams, or define "support" in SC1 or SC4,
or talk about patents or regional laws ("legal restrictions", SC4), or
explain why "non-free hardware" isn't considered a violation of SC1.

Very simply, nothing would be gained by taking the five-paragraph Social
Contract and bulking it up with another paragraph to explain something
nobody is actually confused about.

It also seems like an invitation for people to take non-legal invariant
sections, stuff them inside the license, and claiming that they're part
of the text.  Currently, this is a judgement call; the GPL's preamble
is allowed, but I hope that ftpmaster wouldn't accept a package with
the GNU Manifesto tucked inside the license with "preamble" scribbled
on top.  Would happen or wouldn't happen, there's no knowing what would
result in advance, but given the lengths people seem to be willing to
go to stuff Debian with invariant crap, I'd expect it.  This exception
won't do any good, and might just create another "loophole" for people
to try to exploit (or at least hold lengthy threads about).

Glenn Maynard

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