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Defining free, and the DFSG's terminological shortcomings (was: call for seconds: on firmware)

Pierre Habouzit <madcoder@debian.org> writes:

> On Sun, Nov 16, 2008 at 10:20:05PM +0000, Ben Finney wrote:
> > Pierre Habouzit <madcoder@debian.org> writes:
> > > The SC speaks about software, and doesn't define it.
> > 
> > The statement that Manoj refers to, [SC §1], does *not* speak
> > about software. […]
> > There is no need to define “software” for this promise to be
> > understood. It explicitly promises that “the Debian system and
> > all its components will be free”.
> This bit doesn't require the so called source of the work to exist
> within Debian explicitly. It asks for any component in Debian to
> meet the DFSG.

Okay. So, at least, we agree that the promise that Debian will remain
100% free does not depend on the term “software”.

> In turn however, the DFSG requires that in their §2. The DFSG use a
> mix of "component", "software", "program" words, which makes them a
> mess in that regard.

That seems to be an argument for proposing a re-wording of the DFSG,
so that freedoms are defined without referring to that mess of terms.
I would agree that could be a good motivation in principle.

 \            “Human reason is snatching everything to itself, leaving |
  `\                     nothing for faith.” —Saint Bernard, 1090–1153 |
_o__)                                                                  |
Ben Finney

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