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Re: Amendment to GR on GFDL, and the changes to the Social Contract

Christopher Martin <chrsmrtn@debian.org> writes:

> But what you are saying is that the developers don't have that
> right. 

Quite wrong.  I'm saying they *do* have this right, and it is a right
that must be exercised by a 3:1 vote.

> Please cite the part of the constitution which grants the Secretary this 
> extraordinary power. Despite what Raul Miller repeatedly asserts, a minor 
> power to decide issues of constitutional interpretation in cases of 
> deadlock DOES NOT mean that they have the power to interpret the DFSG, 
> since the DFSG is not the constitution.

I see nothing about section 7.1 which limits it to "a minor power...in
cases of deadlock."  What it says is "adjudicates any disputes about
interpretation of the constitution."

> Indeed, section 4.1 states that the developers, by way of GRs or elections, 
> have the power to "issue, supersede and withdraw nontechnical policy 
> documents and statements. These include documents describing the goals of 
> the project, its relationship with other free software entities, and 
> nontechnical policies such as the free software licence terms that Debian 
> software must meet. They may also include position statements about issues 
> of the day." The GFDL sounds like an "issue of the day" to me.


So, the question is, does the amendment in question supercede the
DFSG?  If it does, then it requires a 3:1 vote.  If it doesn't, then
it doesn't.  It seems a perfectly plausible interpretation of the
Constitution to say that a resolution which is inconsistent with a
Foundation Document is one which would supercede that document.

Would a GR that said "Pine hereby passes the DFSG" be ok?  How about
one that said "Even though the DFSG and the SC say otherwise, pine may
be added to the main Debian archive."?  Neither of those explicitly
revokes or amends anything, but I think we can agree that they would
require a 3:1 vote.  And removing the "Even though the DSG and the SC
say otherwise" cannot possibly affect the matter.

So the question is, again, whether the license is or is not
DFSG-compliant.  And, if it is, then it requires a 3:1 vote to declare
it otherwise.  If it isn't, then it only requires a majority vote to
say so.  The Secretary has no choice but to make that determination;
he must provide a ballot which declares the correct winning
percentage.  There just isn't any other way.

If the GFDL is not DFSG-compliant, then a majority *cannot* declare it
so, because it would be reversing the DFSG itself (just as if it said
"notwithstanding the DFSG and the SC, pine is hereby allowed into


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