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Re: enable MELPA & Marmalade by defaul [was: mykie.el]

From: Grim Schjetne
Subject: Re: enable MELPA & Marmalade by defaul [was: mykie.el]
Date: Tue, 07 Jan 2014 15:41:28 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.3 (gnu/linux)

Drew Adams <address@hidden> writes:

> Putting them in the available-by-default list does *not*
> recommend them, IMO.  And it is certainly possible for GNU
> Emacs to post a big banner saying that the ONLY repository
> it recommends is its own ELPA repository, genuine GNU ELPA.
> Nothing wrong with that.  Would that satisfy your
> recommendation worry?

A reluctant endorsement is still an endorsement.

> And anyway, nothing says that those repositories involve much
> non-free software, or even any at all.

I viewed a random package in Marmalade and it had no indication of a
license whatsoever. Perhaps the author intended to release it as free
software or could easily be convinced to do so, but as it stands now,
Marmalade is not completely free software.

> Without looking, I'd bet that the *overwhelming mass* of packages
> in those two repositories are free software (GPL'd).  Why make
> users jump through extra hoops to access all that free software,
> even if there might also be a non-free package there somewhere?
> Do you think that a downloading user cannot tell whether some
> software is free or not?  If so, is this about trying to hide
> that non-free software from their unsuspecting hands, so they
> cannot make the awful mistake of not recognizing it?

It seems like a reasonable assumption that the overwhelming mass is
licensed under the GPL, but I absolutely do think a user cannot tell
whether an unlabelled package is free or not, at least I can't, not
without consulting the author.

> If so, that kind of protection-by-ignorance is doomed to be
> ineffective and even counterproductive in the long run, IMHO.
>> RMS and his defense of the FSF position (and composure in
>> the face of very shabby treatment) are remarkable.
> Agreed 100%.  And so?  Has RMS said that listing those two
> repositories would hurt free software?  Maybe a lawyer from
> the FSF will chime in.  (As if we didn't get enough
> software-development-by-legal-department these days..., but
> I digress.)

You're suggesting it's a legal issue. I don't see how it is. It's not
illegal to recommend non-free software.

> How about my Samsung - Netflix analogy?  Do you think you'd
> stand a chance if you sued Samsung because one of Netflix's
> films offended you?  Is Samsung liable for bad Netflix films
> because it makes Netflix available by default on your new TV?

As far as I know it's not illegal to include Netflix in your products
either. It's a social problem, not a legal one, and yes, Samsung should
be held responsible for it. If they were distributing Busybox without
the source, that would be both a social and a legal issue.

> I think you are really exaggerating there (but I am not a lawyer).
> That sounds very much like the kind of thing one sometimes hears
> in commercial companies about GNU (!) and why GNU software should
> be avoided like the plague by companies because it supposedly
> sucks all of the company's own software into a free-software
> tainted purgatory.  Dueling bogeymen.

Although unrelated to the current discussion, Bradley Kuhn does a good
job explaining why some companies oppose copyleft software of which they
are not sole copyright holders:


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