Re: non-free and users?
Anthony Towns wrote:
On Tue, Jan 20, 2004 at 02:59:51AM +0100, Sergey V. Spiridonov wrote:
Raul Miller wrote:
I think that should be a per-developer decision, not something for the
There is a problem with changing Social Contract in the way which will
hurt any developer which already agrees with the old version. That is
why my very first question was "Is distributing non-free compatible with
Debian developer ethics?".
By definition it is. Debian developer ethics *require* the distribution
of non-free software. Defining what our ethics are is what the social
contract is all about.
Well, that is why I wonder, what are the basis of this ethics? Isn't it
the case that the Social Contract becomes outdated? It is true that some
time ago it was difficult to survive without distributing non-free.
I agree that SC is almost perfect, but taking as an aim the actions wich
can lead to unethical situations is a bit strange for such an
organization as Debian is.
If you think refraining from distributing non-free software would
be *more* ethical, that's fine; but claiming our social contract is
inconsistent, self-contradictory, or hypocritical just doesn't aid in
I failed to prove that *just* refraining from distributing non-free
software would be *more* ethical. So I do not think doing only this is
enough. On the other side distributing non-free does not serves human
ethics in the most effective way. I assert that acting most ethically
all the time is one of the main Debian aims.
Another of our ethics, which isn't in the social contract but is in the
constitution, is the principle that we don't require anyone to work on
anything -- so you don't get to consider yourself "harmed" when someone
else chooses to work on non-free software instead of free software,
or chooses not to work on Debian at all.
There is no need to require to work on free software, since I assert
each and every Debian developer wants to act in the most ethical way.
I do not say that I'm "harmed" when someone else chooses to work on
non-free software instead of free software, or chooses not to work on
Debian at all. I will be "harmed" if someone will ask me to help him
with non-free package distributed by Debian and I will not be able to
help him because of the legal issues.
1. I am not sure, if harmed is the rigth word for this. I will suffer
because of the fact that I am in a such a situation.
Best regards, Sergey Spiridonov