Defining Free Software Business

MJ Ray mjr at
Mon Jun 26 12:04:23 UTC 2006

Please attribute quotes in public messages.

Alfred M. Szmidt <ams at>
>    > 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.

It's more like knowing basic legal principles and that only those
who violate a copyright license are liable for it:
1. Debian is an operating system.  It is not legally responsible.
2. SPI is a corporation and is legally responsible for some actions
of some debian developers.  However, not all.
3. ftpmasters are people and legally responsible for their actions.
However, they don't upload everything to non-free, nor review it all.

As previously posted, visit the debian-legal discussion for info.

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

Where did you get that idea?  The main reason is that
'The official CDs may freely be used, copied and sold by
anyone anywhere in the world. Packages of the "non-free"
category have restrictions that conflict with this, so
these packages are not placed on the official CDs.'

>    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. [...]

The packages that make up Debian MUST NOT recommend or depend
upon non-free software (this is part of debian-policy s2.2.1).
Saying otherwise is lying, plain and simple.

>    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.

FSF did it.  Maybe in error, but it has done such a thing.
When debian finds non-free software in the distribution, it
is promptly removed.  No difference, but a double standard.

>    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.

What is simple and easy to see is that these repeated lies about
debian have no basis in fact and no credible evidence for them
is ever presented.  It's argument by wild assertions: sling much
mud and try to make some stick.  It's so sad to see FSF advocates
attacking a friendly project.  Will they do the same if GBN names
and shames non-free software supporters in a similar style?

Laux nur mia opinio: vidu
Bv sekvu

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