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Re: [Gnu-arch-users] [OT] Debian should move all GPL sw to non-free

From: Tom Lord
Subject: Re: [Gnu-arch-users] [OT] Debian should move all GPL sw to non-free
Date: Sat, 27 Mar 2004 21:47:29 -0800 (PST)

    > From: James Blackwell <address@hidden>

    > Though its not my place to dictate where and how you spend your effort
    > (at least in this lifetime. :), 

Now, wait a minute.   I'm a little confused about the metaphysics

Are you saying that you expect there to be some other lifetimes (or
reporting about past lifetimes) in which it _is_ your place to dictate
where and how I spend my effort?

    > surely there are more productive ways
    > that you can contribute to society. 

Well, crafting a little (well pointed, if I may say so myself) Debian
flame has some value.

You may as well know that, because I wanted to better understand the
licensing issues myself I wound up writing about 30 pages of notes.

Always on the lookout for ways to double the utility of things I do, I
extracted the little GPL-is-not-Debian-free argument from those to
share with others.  Consider yourself lucky.  I could have turned the
30 pages of notes into 60 pages of subtle analysis of just about ever
aspect of GFDL as it relates to software freedoms.  I was mostly
interested (in my notes) in constructing (or disproving the existence
of) a _positive_ theory of why the GFDL is right[*].   The nugget I
posted is just a tasty little incidental example of refuting the
Debian consensus view.

It really is quite a sound little analysis.  If GFDL is not
Debian-free then neither is GPL.  Debian's position on GFDL is

But, lest you worry, I'm plenty busy on the next round of arch
goodness.  I'm paying pretty close attention to the list.   I'm
crafting some wicked plans and performing some experiments.

And, presuming asuffield wraps up his BugGoo milestones soon (and
working around that if he doesn't) -- the merge/hack/release rate for
tla itself will spring back emphatically fairly soon.

Meanwhile, a bunch of what I'm working on is a bit below most radars.

But thanks for asking.

    > > * The GFDL is not Debian-free

    > [ long argument that I didn't read ]
    > >   Clearly, to be consistent, Debian should now move all GPL'ed
    > >   software to non-free and remove the mention of GPL from the DFSG.

And don't you forget it.


[*] "I was mostly interested (in my notes) in constructing (or
     disproving the existence of) a _positive_ theory of why the GFDL is

  I wound up concluding that GFDL is nearly exactly right _but_:

  1) it has a few minor bugs (which aren't even on Debian's map)

  2) the eye-on-the-prize perspective is to figure out how to make
     a future GPL version and GFDL version which are compatible.
     Conceptually trivial but, hey, _I'm_ not the one who gets to 
     consult with Mr. Moglen on writing it in such a way that it

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