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[AMENDMENT] Now is not the time to decide on firmware issue

(Reply-to set to debian-vote.)

I'd like to propose an alternative option as an amendment to Don Armstrong's 
proposal in <20060825065151.GL9299@volo.donarmstrong.com> [1].
The reason that I submit this proposal now is the request from Don that his 
proposal be split out from the other firmware related proposals and voted on 
separately [2]. I have objected strongly [3] to voting on that proposal on 
its own as IMO it would lead to a biased result.

This amendment is totally different in form from a proposal I submitted 
earlier [4]. However, the intent and the basic reasons behind it remain the 

My personal opinion is that Debian's handling of firmware, documentation and 
some other types of files is too restrictive and affecting the usability of 
the distribution as a whole. From recent discussions and comments I've seen 
in mail and on IRC, and also from the polls initiated by the DPL [5],
my impresson is that a significant part of the community feels the same.

However, with this amendment I am not asking you to support my view. I am 
just asking you to enable the project to decide on this whole issue in an 
orderly way, after detailed research and due deliberation.

Note that the amendment does not mention exceptions for Etch. This is 
because the current trend on debian-vote seems to be to view that as a 
separate issue that is also to be voted on separately.

As the pace is picking up on debian-vote, please send your seconds ASAP if 
you would like to see this amendment included. Please *only quote the 
amendment itself* when you second it and don't forget to sign your mail.

Frans Pop

============================ START OF AMENDMENT ==========================
Considering that:
   (1) The current discussion about what to do with sourceless firmware
       is muddled by other discussions and time pressure because of the
       release of Etch.
   (2) The subject matter is extremely complex and most developers probably
       do not have a clear understanding of what (sub)categories of files
       are involved, what legal and practical issues are associated with
       each of them, and what implications a decision on them will have for
       e.g. the usability of the Debian installation system, nor what long
       term implications a decision may have for the project as a whole.

The Debian Project:
   (a) Affirms that the project strives for and encourages 100 percent
       free software, including the availability of source for all types
       of files.
   (b) Resolves that the project needs more time before a decision can be
       made on how sourceless firmware or other types of files (such as,
       but not limited to, logos, images and video) are to be dealt with.
   (c) Requests the DPL to delegate developers to prepare position papers on
       the legal and practical issues surrounding these types of files in
       view of both of the project's chief priorities: "free software" and
       "our users".
       These papers are to be presented to the project for discussion two
       weeks before Debconf 7 and should include:
       * a classification of the different types of files involved;
       * a summary of legal issues with regard to the different types of
       * alternative technical solutions for dealing with different types
         of files, e.g. in the archive and in the installation system;
       * a statement about whether or not changes are needed/wanted in the
         project's foundation documents in order to realize the proposed
         solutions and possibly a proposal for these changes.
   (d) Requests the DPL to facilitate the work of these teams by providing
       access to legal counsel and other resources.
============================= END OF AMENDMENT ===========================

(Links from lurker as lists.d.o is currently a bit slow...)

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