Re: Request for GR: clarifying the license text licensing / freeness issue
Josip Rodin <email@example.com> writes:
> Yes, the social contract says that the Debian system and all of its
> components will be fully free; but for all practical intents and
> purposes (heh), the accompanying license texts are as much a
> "component" of the "system" as is the media the system is
> distributed on.
I don't see the relevance of this. If you're referring to the
GPL-specific exception for source code (that components of the target
system don't need to be distributed with source), that doesn't seem to
be relevant at all: this is about the license terms for a text, not
whether source code must be distributed.
> Yes, you can't do without it, but you also can't start obsessing on
> it because the matter can soon get absurd after that. (There is no
> free hardware to run it on, oh my!)
When hardware is something distributable by the Debian project as part
of Debian, then this might be relevant; it isn't an issue with current
License texts *are* distributed by Debian, now, under terms that are
non-free. This behaviour doesn't match the Social Contract.
> Lawyers would likely ask us - what would be the legal purpose of
> addressing this concern?
Why would lawyers ask us that, and why are their questions about the
Social Contract germane here? It's not a legally-binding document.
> Trying to "clarify" the social contract by elaborating on peripheral
> things that aren't immediately obvious, is basically nitpicking, and
> it shouldn't be done.
I would think thazt *only* things which are immediately obvious are
exempt from the need for clarification. Anything else needs to at
least be considered on its merits, and not dismissed because it's "not
> Also, nobody cares for statements that can be normalized to 'you can
> do all this, except that, that, that, and that', and those should
> also be avoided if we want readers to take the spirit of the
> document seriously.
I don't see how that's at all true. Contrariwise, I would hope you
agree that a document that says "we will always do this, and never do
that", but which is routinely violated in practice, is one that
readers will not take seriously.
\ "Why should I care about posterity? What's posterity ever done |
`\ for me?" -- Groucho Marx |