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Re: RE : Re: Linux Magazin Germany, affecting Debian's image?!

On Tue, Jul 18, 2006 at 03:38:32AM -0400, Radu-Cristian FOTESCU wrote:
> --- Wouter Verhelst <wouter@debian.org> a écrit :
> > the claim that Debian can be downloaded is a simple statement
> > of fact which just happens to be true as a byproduct of the way
> > we create Debian, it is not a promise.
> If I can't trust what I can read on Debian.org,

You can still download Debian for free from the Internet. The fact that
there is a certain specific DVD release of Debian that you cannot
download _in that specific form_ does not change this. Even if you can't
download the DVD as an ISO image, you can still download everything it
contains from ftp.debian.org and its mirrors.

The website does not say "you can download every conceivable version of
Debian GNU/Linux for free from the Internet". It says "You can download
Debian GNU/Linux for free from the Internet", which should be read as
"There are versions of Debian GNU/Linux that can be downloaded for free
from the Internet". There is a major difference, and it makes your claim
(that everyone who makes a customized version of Debian must make it
available for download) false.

I'll even go one step further and point you to our DFSG:

1. Free Redistribution
   The license of a Debian component may not restrict any party from
   selling or giving away the software as a component of an aggregate
   software distribution containing programs from different sources. The
   license may not require a royalty or other fee for such sale.

It is not too far-fetched to interpret "You must provide a downloadable
version" as a restriction. A requirement to provide Debian as a free
download would be against the spirit, if not the letter, of the DFSG.

> then I'll stop using Debian GNU/Linux as soon as I'll find a
> convenient replacement.

If you think you need to do that, then don't let me stop you.

> > people should have the freedom to make a derivative
> > version of Debian *without* providing downloads
> This is *not* a derivative. This is still labeled "Debian Sarge".

Because it is, for the most part, Debian Sarge. There is nothing wrong
with that.

> Derivatives are: Ubuntu, MEPIS, Knoppix, dozens of others.
> Derivatives do *not* carry the name of Debian.
> It is *not* "Debian MEPIS", it's "MEPIS".

Our policy wrt modified CD-ROM images allows you to do that, so long as
it does not contain the word "official". This DVD doesn't contain that
word, so there's nothing wrong with that.

> Too bad that the moist important GNU/Linux project and the most important
> GNU/Linux community can't afford a good lawyer to explain you how to protect
> your mark.

Actually, Greg Pomerantz is a pretty good lawyer. Are you?

> For God's sake, it's labeled "Debian Sarge", dammit!

Yes, and? It *is* Debian Sarge. It's not the official image, and it
contains some extras that can only be found in the 'backports' archive,
but that doesn't make it less 'Debian Sarge'.

Fun will now commence
  -- Seven Of Nine, "Ashes to Ashes", stardate 53679.4

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