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Re: "keep non-free" proposal

Raul Miller <moth@debian.org> writes:
> > If you can't even acknowledge that other opinions exist, I can easily
> > see why you're having so much trouble talking about your reasons for
> > your opinions.

On Tue, Mar 09, 2004 at 12:42:35PM -0800, Thomas Bushnell, BSG wrote:
> I'm happy to believe that there are other ways to achieve the goal,
> but you haven't given any that I've seen.  If you have, can you please
> repeat them, because I've missed them.  Just announcing that I must
> not have been looking, or am blind, or closed minded, or whatever, is
> beside the point.

There's more than one goal -- there's many goals, with varying degrees
of overlap.

You keep talking like there's only one possible valid way of looking
at things -- and that's not beside the point, it's the main obstacle
preventing us from talking about what the point is.

Or, maybe I'm wrong.  Maybe the only reason Debian exists is to get rid
of the non-free section of its archive.  Maybe the people who have so
generously compromised for so long, by allowing it to exist can finally
save the day by introducing the true compromise of deleting it to save
our users from those nasty non-free documents and programs.

But, even if that's the case, why is it that when I ask the people who
have this great insight to explain their reasons, I get comments like
"If you don't understand, it's not possible to explain it to you"?  Or,
if no explanation is possible, why has so much been posted on this topic
by such proponents?

So... what are the goals?

[1] Distribute a great, free operating system.
[2] Make it as useful as possible

Non-free has nothing to do with [1], and is a crutch for [2] where we
don't have any better alternatives.

You want us to get rid of the crutch, but you don't want to include
any specific steps to address the issues associated with [2] (such as
that multi-billion software industry cranking out new data standards).
Instead, you're implying that people will feel more pressured by the
absense of non-free and will therefore they will fix the problems such
that [2] will cease to be an issue.

And, granted, in some cases people might react to pressure positively
where they would not have otherwise.  But, in tossing non-free, you're
tossing out a fair bit of the flexibility our project has to deal with
odd licensing problems.  And for what?

Every time I ask that question, I get a really big non-answer.

Reading between the lines: we would be giving up that flexibility because
of fanaticism.

If we're going to toss non-free, let's at least spell out the reasons
for doing so.

And by <<reasons>> I mean something more than "Treating the first
subtitle in the social contract as a complete argument, while ignoring
the following text which spells out what is meant."



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