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Re: Constitutional issues in the wake of Lenny

On Mon, Mar 16, 2009 at 07:43:45PM +0100, Kurt Roeckx wrote:
> I have no problem with considering the following to be position
> statements:
> - Firmware blobs are not a DFSG violation
> - Allow releases with known DFSG violations
> They are interpreting the DFSG/SC.

Actually, they are interpreting the DFSG, not the SC.

> But these do not seem like a position statement to me:
> - Allow Lenny to release with firmware blobs
> - Allow Lenny to release with known DFSG violations
> It does not say how to interprete the DFSG/SC,

It does.

> and both seem to temporary override the Foundation Document.

No, they don't.

For instance, Proposal B on the latest vote read, in full:

| Allow Lenny to release with proprietary firmware
| 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.

While it doesn't do so explicitly, the statement implicitly confirms
that "firmware blobs" violate the DFSG; however, it explicitly states
that dealing with this, while important, does not weigh up against the
problems caused for our users by delaying the release.

This is an interpretation of the SC, not the DFSG, and a perfectly valid
position statement.

There's a difference between stating "This is non-free, but we're not
going to worry about that for now so as to allow our users to actually
get a release" and "Yes, this is non-free. Who cares."

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

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