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DFSG violations in Lenny: new proposal


        The proposals we have before us either call for a delay in
 lenny, or in some way override or try to do an end run around the
 social contract.  This is in contrast to the vote we had for etch,
 where we said that the blobs must be distributed under the DFSG -- the
 only thing that was conceded was that the blob, under the GPL, needs to
 have the preferred form of modification, and since there is no _proof_
 that the blob is not actually the preferred form of modification, we
 investigate no deeper.

        While I think it is exceedingly unlikely the blobs are the
 preferred form of modification, I have personally written programs in
 hex, and while this is a sleight of hand (not examining that the blob
 does or does not violate the GPL), and does not meet the spirit of the
 social contract, at least it does not violate the letter. The fact that
 we are not meeting the spirit of the SC is why we have the general
 resolution: the project must stand behind it, and it is a very public
 acceptance of us turning Nelson's eye on potential GPL violations.

        Since the following does not, in my opinion, actually violate
 the SC, it should be a simple up/down vote. I think we need this in
 order to not either delay the release too much, and to not just sweep
 possible violations of the GPL and or DFSG under the rug.

,----[ Proposal 5: allow Lenny to release with firmware blobs ]
|  1. We affirm that our Priorities are our users and the free software
|     community (Social Contract #4);
|  2. We acknowledge that there is a lot of progress in the kernel firmware
|     issue; most of the issues that were outstanding at the time of the
|     last stable release have been sorted out. However, new issues in the
|     kernel sources have cropped up fairly recently, and these new issues
|     have not yet been addressed;
|  3. We assure the community that there will be no regressions in the
|     progress made for freedom in the kernel distributed by Debian
|     relative to the Etch release in Lenny (to the best of our knowledge
|     as of 1 November 2008);

|  4. We give priority to the timely release of Lenny over sorting every
|     bit out; for this reason, we will treat removal of sourceless
|     firmware as a best-effort process, and deliver firmware as part of
|     Debian Lenny as long as we are legally allowed to do so, and the
|     firmware  is distributed upstream under a license that complies
|     with the DFSG. 

        This is just proposal 2 + the last clause of item 4. I am
 formally proposing this as an amendment, either to replace proposal 2;
 or as a formal alternative in its own right, and I am asking for

Just because he's dead is no reason to lay off work.
Manoj Srivastava <srivasta@debian.org> <http://www.debian.org/~srivasta/>  
1024D/BF24424C print 4966 F272 D093 B493 410B  924B 21BA DABB BF24 424C

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