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

From: Stephen J. Turnbull
Subject: Re: [Gnu-arch-users] [OT] Debian should move all GPL sw to non-free
Date: Mon, 29 Mar 2004 21:23:45 +0900
User-agent: Gnus/5.1006 (Gnus v5.10.6) XEmacs/21.4 (Portable Code, linux)

>>>>> "Tom" == Tom Lord <address@hidden> writes:

    Tom> When Debian takes the position that GFDL is not free, many
    Tom> people listen to that.  We can expect many people to
    Tom> uncritically take Debian's word for it.  If Debian's
    Tom> collective reasoning to reach the conclusion that GFDL is not
    Tom> free is flawed, then many people are misled.

But doesn't rms agree with Debian that the GFDL as written is not a
free software license?  OTOH, Debian has no position on whether the
GFDL is a free documentation license, because they just don't care.[1]

AFAIK, Debian distributes software, and everything it distributes is
software by its terminology.  It's definitional.  (Srivasta's page indicates
that some Debian people disagree, but "it's _all_ software" is the
most commonly held, and the most coherent, position among Debian
developers.)  If you want to effectively reverse the conclusion that
the GFDL is non-free, you need to attack the premise that software and
documentation can be lumped together for the purpose of creating a
software distribution.

But isn't that inherently a matter for the distributor's choice?

[1]  Actually, the "documentation freedoms" Srivasta lists seem
incompatible with the GFDL, so I guess they do implicitly have a

Institute of Policy and Planning Sciences
University of Tsukuba                    Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN
               Ask not how you can "do" free software business;
              ask what your business can "do for" free software.

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