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Re: DFSG#10

On Sat, May 22, 2004 at 10:57:30PM -0400, Walter Landry wrote:
> I'm not going to follow arguments that are clearly erroneous.  If you
> would like to pursue an analysis that supposes that the Release
> Manager was acting within his purview, go ahead.  But I don't see how
> it can be supported either by historical record or logic.

I'll address your last sentence, since it seems to be at least as
erroneous as the release manager's prior release policy.

Here's the relevant announcement:


Here's the prior text of the first clause of the social contract:

  1. Debian Will Remain 100% Free Software

     We promise to keep the Debian GNU/Linux Distribution entirely free
     software. As there are many definitions of free software, we include
     the guidelines we use to determine if software is "free" below. We will
     support our users who develop and run non-free software on Debian, but
     we will never make the system depend on an item of non-free software.

It's clear to me that the release manager was drawing a distinction
between "software" and "copyrighted works distributable in digital form".

Under the new social contract, he believes this distinction is disallowed,
because our free software guidelines are declared to be the standard
for judgment for all works in the debian system.

In other words, before the release of the new social contract, there was
ambiguity as to which definition of "software" was intended in the DFSG
-- the release manager picked the most typical definition, and this was
supported in his opinion by historical practice.

With the release of the new social contract, it's clear to him that
this is not the correct interpretation.  That people are not arguing
the opposite reinforces that belief.

Note that he also believes himself to have been in error -- he has stated
as much.  The specific error was that he did not involve interested
parties from the rest of the project in the formation of his release

In other words -- the problem from his point of view is not that his
policy was implausible, but that it was made in isolation.

[Thus, his insistance, in discussions based on the premise that future
release policies will be made in by him, that future release policy
decisions have been delegated to the technical committee.]

[[I'm assuming that my statements about AJ, above, are reasonably
close to accurate -- I'm sure he'll correct me within a few days
if I've said anything too outrageously incorrect.]]



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