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Re: Q to all candidates: dropping SC §5

On Fri, Mar 13, 2015 at 05:01:57PM +0100, Stefano Zacchiroli wrote:
> Dear candidates,
>   do you think the time is ripe for dropping section §5 of the Debian
> Social Contract [1], namely "Works that do not meet our free software
> standards" or should we wait more?

I don't think it's time to drop this section.

There's a balance to be struck between encouraging use of free software,
and a more ideologically purist view that only free software should

In the latter case (one which the FSF has been characterised as
supporting, possibly unfairly at times) then it's an absolute position.
However, I think this does a disservice to the users, and free software
in general. I would rather Debian is spread, and more people use free
software that may require non-free works, than to reject them

This doesn't mean we shouldn't strive to make §5 obsolete! Great work
has been done to try and remove non-free blobs from the kernel, for
example. I would love to run Debian on all systems without the need for
firmware on open hardware, but that day has not yet come. Until it
does[0], we should keep section 5.

[0] I genuinely believe that this will happen, one day. But it certainly
isn't going to be in the immediate future.

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