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Re: An ammendment (Re: Formal CFV: General Resolution to Abolish Non-Free)

On Thu, Jun 15, 2000 at 10:33:17PM -0500, John Goerzen wrote:
> My proposal does not throw out the social contract.  It strengthens
> it.  I fail to see how you can call supporting and spreading non-free
> software "good, valuable principles."  There is no logical or ethical
> basis for such a statement.

Well, there may be no logical or ethical basis that you'll accept,
but that's a different matter from there being none at all.

Once more: providing non-free software helps users get their work done,
and helping users get their work done is a moral good and one of our
purposes here. Providing non-free software that fits in with the Debian
GNU/Linux or GNU/Hurd systems allows users to do more with their existing
system than they might otherwise, which in turn allows more people to
use the free system than might otherwise, both of which are moral goods.
And, lastly, Debian providing all this makes non-free software easier to
maintain and easier to obtain, and, IMO, making life easier is a moral
good too.

Now, of course, if you accept as your ethical basis that "Debian must not
distribute non-free software" or that "Debian (the project) is exclusively
about free software", or something similar, well, we don't have much to
discuss: you don't see any need to offer evidence as to how this will
improve Debian that's unrelated to the above, and you're not willing to
reject the above either.

But of course, I'm just putting words in your mouth, and that's not
anything at all like what you're trying to say, and I'm just an irrational
and unethical goon trying to wrest the project from the ideals it was
founded upon. *sigh* Whatever.

Just for the record: Debian's support of non-free software is based on
good, solid, worthwhile principles. IMHO, etc.


Anthony Towns <aj@humbug.org.au> <http://azure.humbug.org.au/~aj/>
I don't speak for anyone save myself. GPG signed mail preferred.

  ``We reject: kings, presidents, and voting.
                 We believe in: rough consensus and working code.''
                                      -- Dave Clark

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