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Re: Proposal: Source code is important for all works in Debian, and required for programmatic ones



René van Bevern <rvb@debian.org> wrote:

> Hello,
>
> I second this proposal independently of the presence of the D clause,
> although I prefer it being not removed.

Same for me; with or without "are"

Regards, Frank

>
> Don Armstrong <don@debian.org> writes:
>> I'd like to propose the following option to the current GR process.
>>
>> As I will (starting late sunday PDT) be away for a week and a few days
>> at Burning Man,[i] I will be unable to appropriately respond to
>> corrections and suggested amendments during that time. However, I will
>> do so immediately at my return.
>>
>>
>> ======================================================================
>>
>> The Free Software movement is about enabling users to modify the works
>> that they use on their computer; about giving users the same
>> information that copyright holders and upstream developers have. As
>> such, a critical part of the Free Software movement is the
>> availability of source (that is, the form of the work that a copyright
>> holder or developer would use to actually modify the work) to users.
>> This makes sure that users are not held hostage by the whims (or lack
>> of interest or financial incentive) of upstreams and copyright
>> holders.
>>
>> Different types of works have different forms of source. For some
>> works, the preferred form for modification may not actually be
>> digitally transferable.[1] For others, the form that originally was
>> preferred may have been destroyed at some point in time, and is no
>> longer available to anyone. However, to the greatest extent
>> possible,[2] the availability of source code to users is a critical
>> aspect of having the freedom to modify the software that is running
>> upon ones computer.
>>
>> Recognizing this, the Debian Project:
>>
>>   A. Reaffirms that programmatic works distributed in the Debian
>>      system (IE, in main) must be 100% Free Software, regardless of
>>      whether the work is designed to run on the CPU, a subsidiary
>>      processing unit, or by some other form of execution. That is,
>>      works must include the form that the copyright holder or upstream
>>      developer would actually use for modification.
>>
>>   B. Strongly recommends that all non-programmatic works distribute
>>      the form that the copyright holder or upstream developer would
>>      actually use for modification. Such forms need not be distributed
>>      in the orig.tar.gz (unless required by license) but should be
>>      made available on upstream websites and/or using Debian project
>>      resources.
>>
>>   C. Reaffirms its continued support of users whose hardware (or
>>      software) requires works which are not freely licensed or whose
>>      source is not available by making such works available in
>>      non-free and providing project resources to the extent that
>>      Debian is capable of doing so.
>>
>>   D. Requests that vendors of hardware, even those whose firmware is
>>      not loaded by the operating system, provide the prefered form for
>>      modification so that purchasers of their hardware are can
>>      exercise their freedom to modify the functioning of their
>>      hardware.
>>
>>
>> 1: Consider film negatives, or magnetic tape in the case of audio
>>    recordings.
>>
>> 2: Here it must be emphasized that we refer to "technically possible"
>>    or "possible for some party" as opposed to "legally possible for
>>    Debian". We also assume digital distribution, and do not attempt to
>>    require the distribution of physical objects.
>>
>> =======================================================================
>>
>>
>> Obvious points for discussion:
>>
>> 1. I would really like to be able to commit to some form of
>>    installation support for users who need to be able to use non-free
>>    firmware to install their system; some more work is needed in d-i
>>    land, though to make sure that this is separated out and that it's
>>    trivial to have a Free system, and know that what you're
>>    installing/using/distributing is Free Software.
>>
>> 2. Distributing the huge source forms for non-programmatic works is
>>    going to be a problem. I don't think they're needed in the
>>    orig.tar.gz, because that would needlessly bloat the archive, and
>>    it's probably not required unless the works are copylefted.
>>    However, we should make an effort to encourage upstreams to make
>>    them available and likewise make them available to our users. [Even
>>    if it's just in people.debian.org/~you/ or similar and mentioned in
>>    the copyright file, it'd be a good step.]
>>
>> 3. If there is substantial objection to D, I will probably remove it;
>>    however firmware, whether we happen to distribute it or not, is a
>>    hazard to user's freedom to modify the functioning of their
>>    computers.
>>
>> 4. Finally, if in the context of the release of etch, we need to
>>    compromise our ideals and accept programmatic works without source,
>>    we should do so by specifically exempting them from DFSG 2 for the
>>    purpose of releasing etch by a GR which needs to meet the 3:1
>>    requirement instead of attempting to define ourselves into such a
>>    position, especially when source code is clearly a desirable thing
>>    to have from our users and our perspective.

-- 
Frank Küster
Single Molecule Spectroscopy, Protein Folding @ Inst. f. Biochemie, Univ. Zürich
Debian Developer (teTeX/TeXLive)

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