Defining Free Software Business
Alfred M. Szmidt
ams at gnu.org
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 http://www.gnu.org and http://www.fsf.org 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.
More information about the Discussion