Defining Free Software Business

Alfred M. Szmidt ams at
Mon Jun 26 11:28:30 UTC 2006

   > Debian/SPI/ftpmasters are legally responsible for whatever is put
   > into non-free.

   Debian - no.  SPI - sometimes.  ftpmasters - sometimes.

That is like saying that those who violate a copyright license are
only somtimes liable for copyright violations.

   > One does not get more people using free software by saying: Here,
   > have some non-free software as well.

   Indeed.  I think that's part of why it's not on the distribution

That it isn't part of the CD's is more because it would require a
bunch of extra CD's.

   However, you don't let people know that something is non-free
   software by never mentioning its non-free-ness and you never free
   software by ignoring it.

That is why one speaks of non-free software in general and why it is
bad, and not recommending it like Debian does.  I suggest you take a
look at and for examples on how
to mention non-free-ness without recommending, supporting, and
distributing non-free software.

   Instead, in later years, we've seen FSFers recommend other
   distributions which had mixed non-free software into their CDs.

The FSF has never done any such thing.  If a piece of non-free
software was in a GNU/Linux distribution that the FSF recommended, it
got promotly removed.  Everyone can make errors, but claiming that the
FSF recommended non-free software is simply false.

   Debian takes some crap for being clear and honest in its labelling.

Sorry, that is simply wrong.  You say that Debian is 100% free, well,
clearly it isn't.  Debian distributes and promotes non-free software.
It is as simple as that.  That you then tell everyone that a square is
a sphere is quite depressing.


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