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Re: Firmware & Social Contract: GR proposal

In gmane.linux.debian.devel.vote, ajt wrote:

Thanks Aj, that's the best GR proposed so far.
I second the proposal below. 


> ----
> The Debian Project resolves that:
>     (a) The Social Contract shall be reverted to its original form,
>         as at http://www.debian.org/social_contract.1.0
>     (b) The term "software" as used in the Social Contract shall be
>         presumed only to cover programs, scripts, libraries and similar
>         executable works to be executed directly as part of the Debian
>         System.
>     (c) In addition to the commitments made in the Social Contract,
>         the Debian System shall only include documentation, images,
>         sounds, video, fonts and similar works that meet the Debian
>         Free Software Guidelines, and are available in some reasonably
>         modifiable form.
>     (d) Notwithstanding the above, the Debian Free Software Guidelines
>         shall not be applied to logos, firmware or the text of copyright
>         licenses that may be included in the Debian System.
>     (e) Following the release of etch, the Debian Project Leader shall:
>           i.   ensure that the Debian community has a good understanding
>                of the technical and legal issues that prevent the Debian
>                Free Software Guidelines from being applied to logos and
>                firmware in a manner that meets the needs of our users;
>           ii.  ensure that project resources are made available to
>                people working on addressing those issues;
>           iii. provide a report to the Debian community on progress achieved
>                in these areas at DebConf 7 in Edinburgh.
>     (f) Following the release of etch, the Debian Project as a whole shall
>         reopen the question of which commitments should be codified in the
>         project's Social Contract. This shall including both an online
>         consultation with Debian users, Debian derivatives and the free
>         software community, and a public in-person discussion and debate
>         at DebConf 7 in Edinburgh in honour of the 10th anniversary of
>         the original publication of the Social Contract on the 4th
>         of July 1997.
> ----
> Personally, I think it's a mistake to have a social contract that we
> can't meet -- I would much rather say "we're not only meeting our social
> contract, but we're going above and beyond it" than keep worrying about
> how we've overpromised and keep having to underdeliver.
> I think (e) is an important part of meeting our users' expectations,
> as well as our own, that committing to releasing etch on time won't be
> a permanent cost to our efforts towards free, sourceful firmware. I'm
> happy to commit to it, and I presume whoever's elected DPL next year
> will say during the campaign if they will or won't commit to it too,
> so the project can take that into account. If people think that point is
> worth adding to any of the other proposals that defer the free-firmware
> issue to post-etch, that's fine by me.
> It's fair to ask whether interpreting "software" to not cover all sorts
> of other things we distribute is a sensible thing to do, whether on a
> principled level ("but we *want* those other things to be free too"),
> a logical level ("what about postscript, or self-extracting zip files of
> documentation?") or a semantic level ("software means bits, it doesn't
> mean executables"). But it seems to me that the current answer we have
> to that question is not working -- and given the length of time we've
> already had, I don't think there's a great likelihood that that will
> fundamentally change any time soon. I think it would be a waste of time
> giving it yet another chance instead of spending the time coming up with
> something better. So personally, I think we really do need to start this
> debate afresh, hence (f).
> TTBOMK the Debian, Firefox and Thunderbird [3] logos all currently have
> non-free copyright licenses acting as trademark protection, hence the
> specific exception for logos, given images are mentioned previously. To
> date, no one else has been particularly interested in helping work out
> what we want to do about protecting the Debian logo by trademark instead
> of (non-DFSG) copyright provisions.
> I believe that 5.1(5) of the constitution allows the project leader to
> propose draft resolutions/amendments without requiring the usual seconding
> process (cf [4]). I'm not intending to exercise that power here; please
> consider the above to be my personal view as a developer.
> Seconds and comments appreciated.

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