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Re: General resolution: Condemn Russian invasion of the Ukraine

Quoting Russ Allbery (2022-04-06 01:44:43)
> Jonas Smedegaard <jonas@jones.dk> writes:
> > Quoting Steve Langasek (2022-04-05 22:36:02)
> >> On Thu, Mar 31, 2022 at 02:39:31PM +0200, Jonas Smedegaard wrote:
> >>> No we don't - we care about our users, and our users include those 
> >>> who do evil.
> >> I think this thread has largely petered out, with many people 
> >> having laid out the reasons why Debian taking a public position on 
> >> this is not necessarily a good idea.
> >> But I don't think it should go unadddressed that it's quite a 
> >> bizarre twist to go from "our priorities are our users and Free 
> >> Software" to "we care about evil users".
> > Please note the word "include" in my sentence above.
> > Point is we do *not* care about our users doing evil.
> I think there's an unfortunate confusion here between "care," which is 
> a mental state or a moral position, and some form of action.

Ah.  I think you are right - and I can see now how my choice of words 
upset others.

> I do, in fact, care about our users doing evil, so I'm apparently not 
> part of your "we."  However, in most cases I don't think Debian should 
> *do* anything about our users doing evil, for a whole bunch of reasons 
> ranging from the tradeoffs inherent in free software principles to the 
> law of unintended consequences.  There are unfortunately many 
> instances where something bad is happening in the world but a specific 
> person or organization is not in a position to do anything effective 
> about the bad thing without causing more problems.
> I suspect that you (Jonas) are largely arguing for the same thing, and 
> much of the disagreement is just over terminology.

I think I do agree, yes.

> > Debian rejects software licensed with the following clause:
> > "The Software shall be used for Good, not Evil"
> This is an excellent example of the tradeoffs of free software principles.
> The problem with such a license, at least from my perspective (which, from
> previous discussions on this exact topic, appears to be common) is not the
> general idea that we would prefer people not do evil things with software.
> It's the practical specifics, which include such things as the murkiness
> of "evil" (including different and incompatible effective definitions for
> every piece of software with such a license), the problems with enforcing
> such a license in a legal system that exists in the real world, and the
> lack of clarity and thus legal uncertainty for our users who may be doing
> something that the author of the software may consider "evil" but that
> many other people in the world would not.
> In other words, I don't think we rejected that license because we don't
> care whether our users do evil.  I think we rejected that license because
> the harm is greater than the benefits.


I do not want anyone to do evil - be that our users or anyone else.

It is just not so simple to define or agree on what is evil, so we 
provide Free Software for everyone - including evil war makers, and evil 
capitalists, and evil squirrel tamers, and evil fuel burners, etc.

 - Jonas

 * Jonas Smedegaard - idealist & Internet-arkitekt
 * Tlf.: +45 40843136  Website: http://dr.jones.dk/

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