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Re: do all of MJRs subjects sound like they were ripped from the Daily Mail? [was: Re: Is debian profiting from forced child labour?]

On Mon, Nov 05, 2007 at 04:52:32PM +0000, Steve Langasek wrote:
> I find it distasteful that some people seem to use this very fact as
> an argument against taking ethical stances as a project on matters
> unrelated to software licensing, as if it's not even worth asking
> whether there are other points that we can agree on as a community.

If people missed it in the first place, I was being sarcastic. Of course
I'm against Child labour, AIDS, Poverty or Hunger. Though I don't really
understand why Debian would have to issue any kind of statement.

If people use Debian to enslave others, it's a crime against the
Humanity and there is La Hague for them. If people use Debian to kill
other people, there are courts for them. People selling bread knives
aren't prosecuted if someone used a bread knife to kill their SigO,
because it's not the primary use of such a tool. And nobody expects
bread knives manufacturers to issue statements against domestic

Of course, if you sell weapons, whose usual use is indeed to harm
people, then you expect the reseller to check who they are selling their
weapons to, and to have some kind of ethical official position. But
unless there are people to believe Debian is usually used to do Harm,
then this whole conversation is just moot.

Or maybe we should discuss if Debian should issue a statement against
people frustrated by a buggy Debian software, and use their
Debian-powered laptop to club their neighbor ?

If MjR has issues with the company Debian-UK (or any other alike
organization) he buys his t-shirts from, then he should mention it to
this organization's board, and the ethics of the company should be
questioned. Optionally we could set-up a Debian wiki page to remind to
Debian related non profits that some companies they may buy goods for
may be quite eager to look away when it comes to how their goods are

But yes I believe that Debian is making software and has no point in
taking such positions. Though every member is free to do so through any
appropriated channels, and that restricting our license to "People who
do not do Harm or Bad Things" is just idealistic nonsense.

And as I'm sure people will eventually read me wrong, here is a small
disclaimer: I'm not ethics-less, I came to Debian not only for its
technical excellency but also because it meets ethics requirements that
I feel are important. Though I tend to dislike proselytism and
sanctimonious attitudes.
·O·  Pierre Habouzit
··O                                                madcoder@debian.org
OOO                                                http://www.madism.org

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