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Re: "keep non-free" proposal

> >[A] Software which Debian distributes which is completely free will
> >remain completely free.

On Wed, Jan 28, 2004 at 01:24:00PM -0500, Nathanael Nerode wrote:
> This interpretation is a no-op.  Read it again: it doesn't commit
> Debian to do ANYTHING.  At least, not anything in Debian's power.
> If Debian distributed NO completely free software, Debian would satisfy
> this interpretation!

I don't see how.

Ok, if Debian stopped distributing anything at all, that might work,
but as long as Debian is distributing software that has in the past been
free, this commits debian to distributing free versions of that software.

More importantly, when taken in the context of Section 1, and the DFSG,
this "completely free" means no dependencies on anything that's not also
completely free.

> The debian-legal mailing list and many other people concluded that this is a 
> ridiculous and unacceptable interpretation.

Is that an exact quote?

Perhaps I should have said "software systems" instead of simply
"software", but I don't see how it's possible to replace free software
with non-free software and still satisfy that statement.

Perhaps you can enlighten me?

> > but [B] contradicts both the rest of the
> >social contract and the current structure of Debian.
> [C] The "Debian distribution" will consist entirely of "Free Software".
> This is the correct consensus interpretation.
> You've also been ignoring the issue of the contentious meaning of "software", 
> which Andrew Suffield's proposal deals with.

I believe those issues are dealt with in the Debian Free Software

Those are the guidelines we use to identify free software.  Those
guidelines use other terms (such as "programs", and "works") in a fashion
which makes sense to me.

At one point, the DFSG was incorporated into the social contract.
Even though it's now technically a separate document, I see no 
reason to pretend it no longer serves the same role.


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