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Re: DFSG#10

Raul Miller wrote:
> 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:
>    http://lists.debian.org/debian-vote/2004/04/msg00074.html
> 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".

The Social Contract defines the distribution as being entirely free
software.  "copyrighted works distributable in digital form" don't
belong in the distribution.

> 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.

It was disallowed by the old social contract.  There was a clear
consensus, and I'm not the only one saying that [1] [2] [3].

Walter Landry

[1] http://lists.debian.org/debian-glibc/2003/08/msg00160.html
[2] http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2003/08/msg01016.html
[3] http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2003/09/msg00197.html

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