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Re: [all candidates] Return to the desert island (cont.)

On 2013-03-19 16:39, Jérémy Bobbio wrote:
Dear candidates, do you think that libechonest [3] should be called free
software? As it requires software outside of the distribution to
function, do you think it should be moved to contrib? What about
s3cmd [4] then?

I don't think that having the facility to fetch or process non-free data makes software non-free. It is normal for tools to be agnostic about the licensing of data they process, even in cases where it's almost certainly non-free. For example, the licensing of DVB broadcast content is very unlikely to be free, but I don't think we should move all DVB programs to contrib.

However, I would agree that making our users dependent on non-free data sources is bad. This kind of problem isn't new: an old example is the track information used in CD ripping tools. In that case community efforts created free alternatives that the tools could use instead. As a general principle, we might want to discourage default installations of packages from automatically pulling in non-free data and thus encouraging users to become dependent on it.


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