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Re: Proposal: The DFSG do not require source code for data, including firmware

Manoj Srivastava wrote:

> On Tue, 22 Aug 2006 15:18:04 -0700, Steve Langasek <vorlon@debian.org>
> said:

>>         4. determines that for the purposes of DFSG #2, device
>>            firmware shall also not be considered a program.
>         This would require us to amend the foundation document of the
>  DFSG, and define that what Debian defines as software program
>  is different from the common definitions of the term
>         In order for us to have a meaninglul foundation document, we
>  can't debate and use our own "special" definitions of common terms,
>  since the definition in turn uses words that can be "defined" in a
>  "special" fashion.
>         So, unless otherwise stated, the foundation document terms
>  refer to commonly understood meanings of words; looking to
>  dictionaries, encyclopedias, and common references.
>         Calling firmware not programs is our own "special" definition
>  of firmware, and or program, and hence must be defined explicitly in
>  the DFSG.  If we want to state that we only consider certain programs
>  to be free, we ought to be upfront and clear about it in our
>  foundation document.

110% in agreement with Manoj.

Q: How many legs does a dog have, if you call the tail a leg?
A: Four.  Calling the tail a leg doesn't make it one.
(Attributed to Abraham Lincoln.)

I fail to see any way in which an executable MIPS binary is not a "program",
by any definition.

If you want to amend the DFSG to state

"3. Source Code 
The program must include source code, and must allow distribution in source
code as well as compiled form.  However, this requirement does not apply to
firmware, defined as <insert your pet exemption here>."

I would strongly oppose such a change, but it would be a legitimate,
reasonable GR (requiring 3:1 supermajority of course).

In contrast, clause 4 of Steve Langasek's proposal is a backhanded and
not very forthright way of trying to change the DFSG without changing them.
Steve, you're better than this: please fix your proposal to do the
straightforward thing.

>         manoj

Nathanael Nerode  <neroden@fastmail.fm>

Bush admitted to violating FISA and said he was proud of it.
So why isn't he in prison yet?...

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