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Social Contract proposal -- 20040116-13


This is an updated draft of the proposal I posted earlier today

This draft replaces the LSB reference with an ABI reference.

Let's hold off on seconding this proposal until the 19th.  There's a
non-zero chance that it will need to be changed again.

Note that the addition of ABI reference might be considered technical
policy.  I'd like the project secretary to make a ruling on this, if
he's still available [if he's not available in the next couple days,
I'll bring this up with the technical committee chairman].  If it is a
point of technical policy, we'll need the TC to approve this proposal
before it can be be considered as a GR.  [I'll take responsibiity for
seeing that that happens, if it is needed.]

The rationale for this proposal is:  clean up the social contract and
bring its words in line with the way we have been interpreting it.

- -- 

I propose the following resolution:

We will replace our social contract with two documents, as specified
by the recent constitutional amendment.  The first replacement document
will be the social contract below, and the second replacement document
will be the Debian Free Software Guidelines extracted from the remainder
of the original social contract.

Here's the replacement for the social contract:

Debian's Social Contract

The Debian Project is an association of individuals who have made common
cause to create a free operating system.  This is the "social contract"
we offer to the free software community.
"Social Contract" with the Free Software Community
  1. Debian will remain 100% free software

     Debian exists to distribute a general purpose system composed of
     entirely free software. As there are many definitions of free
     software, we use the "Debian Free Software Guidelines" to determine
     if software is free. We will also support our users who develop
     and run other software on Debian -- free or non-free -- but we will
     never make the system depend on 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 in a manner consistent with the Debian Free Software Guidelines.
     We will make the best system we can, so that free works will be
     widely distributed and used. We will communicate things such
     as bug fixes, improvements and user requests to the "upstream"
     authors of works included in our system.

  3. We will not hide problems

     We will keep our entire bug report database open for public view
     at all times. Reports that people file online will promptly become
     visible to others.

  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 environments. We will not object to non-free
     works that are intended to be used on Debian systems, or attempt to
     charge a fee to people who create or use such works. We will allow
     others to create distributions containing both the Debian system and
     other works, without any fee from us. In furtherance of these goals,
     we will provide an integrated system of high-quality materials with
     no legal restrictions that would prevent such uses of the system.

  5. Software that doesn't meet our free-software standards

     We acknowledge that some of our users require the use of software
     which does not conform to the Debian Free Software Guidelines.
     In order to accommodate these users, we have created "contrib" and
     "non-free" areas in our internet archive. The software in these
     directories is not needed by most people, and we do not guarantee
     all software in the non-free area may be distributed in other ways.
     For those who need to run software we do not distribute, free or
     non-free, we support application binary interface standards.  Thus,
     although we're working to reduce people's requirements for non-free
     software, we support users who are still dependent. Additionally,
     we will work to find, package and support free alternatives to
     non-free software so people who use only free software can work
     with users of non-free software.

- -- 

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