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Re: [GNU-linux-libre] How do you handle references to non-free softwarei

From: Henry Jensen
Subject: Re: [GNU-linux-libre] How do you handle references to non-free softwarein public forums?
Date: Thu, 7 Jul 2011 19:58:05 +0200

On Wed, 06 Jul 2011 13:06:21 -0700 (PDT)
"Jason Self" <address@hidden> wrote:

> Henry Jensen <address@hidden> wrote ..
> > If it occurs at the forum of a FSDG compliant distro that now and then
> > non-free software is mentioned, how do you handle this?
> I think gNewSense does this pretty well by setting Community Guidelines [1] 

This Guidelines are pretty good. May I use them as a blueprint?

> I think a "how to" amounts to the same thing, and is probably worse than 
> someone just posting a question. A question thread can be locked, perhaps 
> after 
> a moderator has posted a short message saying there's no help for proprietary 
> software. If someone posts a reply or a step-by-step "HOW TO" about running a 
> specific piece of proprietary software it absolutely should be deleted, IMHO, 
> and consideration given to anyone that repeatedly breaks the community 
> guidelines.

If I understand you correctly, references to NON-FSDG-Software should be
treated the same way as completely non-free software.

I had a post like this in mind:

I objected that posting a reference to this NON-FSGD software at the
Trisquel forum is probably not a good idea, but the author of the post
said that "no one seems to have an issue" with this and "Non-FSDG
software isn't non-free software." Since no one of the Trisquel
team (I am a simple Trisquel user) responded I wasn't sure how the rest
of the free software community sees this matter.

> > Deleting the posts would be censorship and I think this would be not
> > good.
> I don't think it amounts to censorship. After all, there are plenty of other 
> places where they could pose their question/post their how-to. I think it 
> comes 
> down to the question of: Should people be able to use *your* project 
> infrastructure to provide advice/support/etc on how to use proprietary 
> software?

Good point. But sometime it is hard to know where to draw the line. Of
course, if someone would post a link for a proprietary software with
instructions to download and install it, it would be a clearly
violation. But goes the same for NON-FSDG software? What about the very
mentioning of NON-FSDG Software and distros? I think there is a point
where this is not controllable nor fixable. E. g. some FSDG distros are
based on NON-FSDG distros. It is only natural that the NON-FSDG distro
is mentioned several times. E. g. gNewSense has the string "ubuntu" in
almost every package file name.

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