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Re: Proposal: Source code is important for all works in Debian, and required for programmatic ones

I second this proposal.

> ========== BEGIN PROPOSAL =====================================
> The Free Software movement is about enabling users to modify the works
> that they use on their computer; about giving users the same
> information that copyright holders and upstream developers have. As
> such, a critical part of the Free Software movement is the
> availability of source (that is, the form of the work that a copyright
> holder or developer would use to actually modify the work) to users.
> This makes sure that users are not held hostage by the whims (or lack
> of interest or financial incentive) of upstreams and copyright
> holders.
> Different types of works have different forms of source. For some
> works, the preferred form for modification may not actually be
> digitally transferable.[1] For others, the form that originally was
> preferred may have been destroyed at some point in time, and is no
> longer available to anyone. However, to the greatest extent
> possible,[2] the availability of source code to users is a critical
> aspect of having the freedom to modify the software that is running
> upon ones computer.
> Recognizing this, the Debian Project:
>   A. Reaffirms that programmatic works distributed in the Debian
>      system (IE, in main) must be 100% Free Software, regardless of
>      whether the work is designed to run on the CPU, a subsidiary
>      processing unit, or by some other form of execution. That is,
>      works must include the form that the copyright holder or upstream
>      developer would actually use for modification.
>   B. Strongly recommends that all non-programmatic works distribute
>      the form that the copyright holder or upstream developer would
>      actually use for modification. Such forms need not be distributed
>      in the orig.tar.gz (unless required by license) but should be
>      made available on upstream websites and/or using Debian project
>      resources.
>   C. Reaffirms its continued support of users whose hardware (or
>      software) requires works which are not freely licensed or whose
>      source is not available by making such works available in
>      non-free and providing project resources to the extent that
>      Debian is capable of doing so.
>   D. Requests that vendors of hardware, even those whose firmware is
>      not loaded by the operating system, provide the prefered form for
>      modification so that purchasers of their hardware can
>      exercise their freedom to modify the functioning of their
>      hardware.
> 1: Consider film negatives, or magnetic tape in the case of audio
>    recordings.
> 2: Here it must be emphasized that we refer to "technically possible"
>    or "possible for some party" as opposed to "legally possible for
>    Debian". We also assume digital distribution, and do not attempt to
>    require the distribution of physical objects.
> ============= END PROPOSAL ===============================


René van Bevern	<rvb@debian.org>
http://progn.org  http://www.debian.org  http://www.pro-linux.de

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