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Re: First Draft proposal for modification of Debian Free Software Guidelines:

On 2004-04-28 23:19:40 +0100 Buddha Buck <bmbuck@14850.com> wrote:

   Documentation and other written materials that are not programs are
   not required to meet guideline 3 [Derived works] fully.

The problems with making a distinction of "not programs" has been covered on -legal in the past. I also think "written" is an open loophole: for example, hand-crafted SVG is written material.

      (i)   Standards documents, such as IETF RFC documents, published
            star catalogs, and certification test suites.

These should not be invariant. Please see discussions of standards documents on -legal (I think the TEI discussion has some of the points, as well as some brain farts.)

      (iii) Opinion documents, such as the GNU Manifesto or position
            papers that have no technical content

This would encourage endless arguments over what is "technical content" too, as if there weren't enough.

2. In the past, the issue of documentation, fonts, images, sound files, and other non-program type files was "dealt with" by treating them as if they weren't "software".

Please substantiate this claim. Some may have deliberately refused to "deal with" these bugs, but they were still there.

6. This software was tolerated in the past in part because by their nature the "four freedoms" of software are not necessary, and are sometimes antithetical, for their support of free software (in the form of programs).

This is retrospective continuity, dreaming up reasons. All software in debian should have the freedom to use, study, modify and distribute. Different softwares do not need different definitions of freedom, which is the apparent effect of all these "this bit doesn't apply to this" exceptions.

7. For instance, it is well known that open and public standards [...]

Irrelevant. The standards groups could produce free software if they want.

8. At the same time, requiring the ability to create and distribute modified versions of open and public standard threatens the utility of the standard in the first place. [...]

No, the ability to misrepresent your work or forge approvals threaten that and we already have those. They're just not legal ;-)

accurate communication of opinions, it is important that everyone have the same text of the opinion so that the opinion does not get mistranslated or changed (intentionally or unintentionally).

Therefore, we should make all these documents read-only, immutable and impossible to modify with a debian system, right? Absurd.

Other reasons are ill-founded, but I do not wish to spend too much time on this non-proposal.

My Opinion Only and possibly not of any group I know.
http://www.ttllp.co.uk/ for creative copyleft computing

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