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Re: RFD: amendment of Debian Social Contract

On Wed, 29 Oct 2003 16:25:28 -0500
Branden Robinson <branden@debian.org> wrote:

> 13) Clause 5 has been stricken entirely.  *This amendment does NOT
>     mandate the removal of the non-free section from anything,
>     anywhere.*  What it does do is withdraw our commitment to provide
>     a"non-free section" via a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) archive
>     specifically.  This makes it possible for us to decide, in the
>     near or distant future, to stop distributing the non-free section
>     without violating our own Social Contract.

I will second, subject to an amplification of 13).  This change in
language has no direct effect on either the removal of the non-free or
contrib sections of our archives.  

Rationale:  it is not clear that it makes sense to continue to
distribute contrib, absent non-free -- alternatively it is not clear
that a contrib made up largely of installer packages for non-free items
is in the spirit of removing non-free packages.   

  1. Debian Will Remain 100% Free

 We promise to preserve your right to freely use, modify, and
 distribute Debian operating system distributions.  We include the
 guidelines we use to determine if a work is "free" in a document
 called the Debian Free Software Guidelines.  Every work contained in  
 our distributions will satisfy those guidelines.  We will support our  
 users who develop and run non-free software on Debian, but we will    
 never make the system depend on an item of non-free software.

  2. We Will Give Back to the Free Software Community

 When we write new components of the Debian system, we will license
 them as freely in a manner consistent with the Debian Free Software
 Guidelines.  We will make the best system we can, so that free
 software and other works will be widely distributed and used.  We
 will communicate bug fixes, improvements, user requests, etc. to
 the "upstream" authors of software and other works included in our

  3. We Will Not Hide Problems

 We will keep our entire bug report database open for public view at
 all times.  Reports that users file online will promptly become
 visible to others without requiring manual approval.  Project
 discussions will be held in forums open to public participation
 except where absolutely necessary.  We are committed to
 transparency and accountability in our decision-making processes.

  4. Our Priorities are Our Users and Free Software

 We will be guided by the needs of our users and the free software
 community.  We will place their interests first in our priorities. 
 We will support the needs of our users for operation in many
 different kinds of computing environment.  We will not object to
 commercial software that is intended to run on Debian systems, and
 we will allow others to create value-added distributions containing
 both Debian and commercial software, without any fee from us.  In
 furtherance of these goals, we will provide an integrated system of
 high-quality works of software and other materials with no legal
 restrictions that would prevent these uses of our operating system

s/commercial/non-free/ or perhaps

Rationale: there is software which is non-DSFG free, but also
non-commercial.  And I could imagine a distribution that picked up some
free software that was not officially Debian packaged, which should also
be allowed.

Seconded, with, or without these changes -- although I would clearly
prefer both.

Jim Penny

> G. Branden Robinson                |     You don't just decide to
> break Debian GNU/Linux                   |     Kubrick's code of
> silence and then branden@debian.org                 |     get drawn
> away from it to a http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |     discussion
> about cough medicine.

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