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

On Sun, Feb 12, 2006 at 07:53:39PM -0500, Glenn Maynard wrote:
> On Sat, Feb 11, 2006 at 01:46:14PM -0500, Nathanael Nerode wrote:
> > The reason I would do this is the same reason I often get so vocal and
> > sometimes angry about these matters: the issue of honesty.  I feel that the
> > current situation is one in which Debian is using its Social Contract to
> > lie to its users, and that that has been going on for a long time.
> 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.

Nope, but i think those who try to hide the issue of non-free material in
main, by insisting that it is not software, or similar claims, are being
deceitful and a little dishonest.

I want to remind you all, that previous to the two GRs which clarified the
meaning of what we must consider free, we had a widely disputed GR on the fate
of our non-free section, and we all voted to keep it, especially because there
was non-free software (including firmware, documentation and whatever), which
was non-free but useful to our users, and we decided to keep it accordying to
our social contract which put our users and free software on equal level.

If we now decide to put all this non-free software into main, as some are
starting to think doing about kernel firmware, documentation, fonts, whatever,
then i believe not only is the vote on keeping free meaningless, but we are
also not being honest with ourselves and our users, as this is in
contradiction with the spirit of the social contract, even if some like to
play with words.

So, yes, i believe there is some kind of dishonesty going on in this
discussion, and all of you advocating putting non-free software into main,
please ask deep in yourslef if you really believe that what we all signed up
with the social contract allows us to keep non-free software-not-program parts
in main.

As for the licence, well, this is a known exceptions which is well recognized
in the community and i think it is not really a good idea to lose time on
handling it.

For the rest of the stuff, just put it in non-free, and maybe modify how we
handle non-free, classifying it in non-free-but-distributable and
non-free-with-distributions-constraints, and making its use easy, especially
at the installer level for kernel firmware, easy altough optional, would be
the most honest way of handling this issue, given the history of past GRs
concerning this (the non-free one, followed by the
editorial-changes-trying-to-squeeze-in-major changes, and most importantly the
let-s-delay-this-for-sarge-only confirmation GR).


Sven Luther

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