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Debian and opinions (was: Re: Proposed vote on issue of the day: trademarks and free software)

On Thu, Oct 09, 2008 at 12:31:33AM +0100, Neil McGovern wrote:
> Given that this hasn't reached the required number of seconds for a
> discussion period to start, and it's been three weeks since the initial
> mail, are you happy for this to be dropped?

Yes. By now it's just plain too late; and given the lack of seconds, I
do not see it useful to still try to push this forward.

Having said that, there is one thing I still want to comment on: during
the discussion, Ross Burton suggested that this kind of statements is
not what Debian should be doing; that this is something more appropriate
for the FSF.

I for one do not think the FSF should have a monopoly on opinion within
the free software community. Although I have respect for what the FSF is
and what they have accomplished, I am not a member or a fellow or
any such thing of the FSF, and I have my reasons for that (though those
are outside the scope of this discussion).

I do think that the Debian project is an important citizen in the free
software community, and as such that we have a right and a duty to tell
others in the community when they are straying off the path. This can be
the mozilla project, but could just as well be any other organization;
indeed, on occasion we've even disagreed about freedom with the FSF
itself (remember the FDL?). If we indeed refuse to make statements about
other projects, then we, as a project, will collectively be putting our
head in the sand; and I do not think that is the right attitude--not
now, and not for any future similar situations we might encounter.

<Lo-lan-do> Home is where you have to wash the dishes.
  -- #debian-devel, Freenode, 2004-09-22

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