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Re: non-free and users?

> Raul Miller wrote:
>  > [*] preventing the distribution of program 'A' to people who need it
>  > also contradicts human ethics (unless something at least as adequate
>  > for that need is distributed instead).

On Sat, Jan 17, 2004 at 07:47:30PM +0100, Sergey V. Spiridonov wrote:
> That is true, and that is why I propose to drop non-free. Debian will 
> not have non-free to distribute, so he will not prevent its distribution.

What is the distinction between "drop non-free" and "prevent its

>  > I don't see a basis here for preventing distribution of all of
>  > non-free by Debian.
> > I do agree that there's an ethical problem here, but I think a blanket
> > prohibition on non-free makes that problem a worse problem.
> I believe stopping to distribute non-free is an ethical action. This is 
> not prohibition: those who really want to have non-free can find it 
> somewhere else.

In that sense, shutting down Debian entirely and not distributing anything
at all is equivalent to continuing to distribute Debian.  After all,
people can find the programs we distribute elsewhere.

> Stopping to act non-ethical is ethical.

Ethics are a personal matter.  In the the context of groups we have
other principles (traditions, morality, justice, laws, and so on).

> You seem expect from users, who know much less about programs and
> licensing to act better than Debian developers.

Better?  Better for the users, not better for the developers.  Yes,
in that sense, I expect the users to act better.

> This will never happen.

I think you mistake "better for you" with "better for everyone".

Better for one developer isn't always the same as better for another

> It is responsibility of Debian developers to act ethical, because
> they should be good example for users.


I think the distinction between "drop non-free" and "prevent distribution
of non-free" is false, and that we shouldn't make ourselves an example
of doing something we say we're not doing.

Which is also why I want to update the social contract -- so that what
it says and what we do are the same.

> > To use your medical analogy, this is something like triage (sorting
> > patients in emergency medicine).  If we sort packages based on likely
> > benefit, we should exclude from non-free software which has not enough
> > benefit or negative benefit.  But there should still be a place in
> > non-free for software which has positive benefit, even if that benefit
> > is not the highest benefit.
> I believe DFSG is the best tool for sorting programs. Those programs 
> which do not fit DFSG are called non-free and have negative impact on 
> Debian itself.

There's "do not fit DFSG at all" (for exampe, Microsoft Windows XP)
and there's "satisfies some of DFSG but not all (Gfor exampe, FDL).

I think it's a huge mistake to claim that these cases are identical.

I think it's a huge mistake to not distribute GFDL because we know we
shouldn't distribute Microsoft Windows XP.

Choose your own examples, if you don't like those I've presented.
But don't claim my examples are bad unless you can show how.


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