Defining Free Software Business (please read this before believing anything about debian on this list this month)

MJ Ray mjr at
Wed Jun 28 22:54:48 UTC 2006

Kaloian Doganov <kaloian at> asked:
> Why we have to make a distinction based on the medium of distribution?

1. A: You don't, but the CDs contain only the operating system,
not the various other things also held on the ftp server which
some seem unable to ignore or compare like-for-like.

> Why Debian Project gladly distributes proprietary software on the
> Internet, but feels shy to distribute it burned on CD's?

2. A: The project sorrowfully distributes it on the Internet because
it acknowledges that some users still use it.  It is proud not
to put it on the CDs because it is not part of debian and not
required for use of debian.  Maybe my opinion only, but I don't
know anyone who is glad or shy about it.

"Alfred M. Szmidt" <ams at> wrote:
> Your tactis are far worse, using my CV as some kind of way of starting
> yet more personal attack towards me. [...]

3. Note: I disagree.  I view showing that even ams at gnu lists
proprietary software sometimes as a much nicer tactic than
repeatedly instructing me not to take vital medication.

> >  It does not include one.
> It does so. [...]

4. Comment: Oh look, this isn't an argument. It's just contradiction.
(from The Argument Sketch from "Monty Python's Previous Record")

> _Debian_ has created in _their_ _archives_ non-free areas for users.
   ^^^^^^                  ^^^^^
5. Note: Debian is singular.  This noun and pronoun do not agree.
That is why the argument doesn't work, based on a misunderstanding.

> This is clearly supporting non-free software, clearly it is giving
> space for non-free software.  That they weasle out with `these areas
> are not part of the Debian system' is irrelevant.

6. Note: Picking and choosing which parts of a text to believe
is not a rational argument.

> >  > Because it _includes and supports_ non-free software.  It is
> >  > really that simple.
> >  Is that an official GNU project position?  It's whack.  Debian
> >  doesn't include non-free software and GNU supports non-free
> >  software as much as Debian
> "We have created "contrib" and "non-free" areas in our archive for
> these works" Where does GNU support non-free software in this manner?

7. A:  GNU is an operating system.  One can run non-free software
on it.  So, it supports non-free software.  Just as Debian does.
Unsurprising, as Debian is based on GNU.

8. Note: no answer whether that is an official GNU project position.

> >  I claim that GNU (the software) does host non-free software
> >  somewhere.  There is a difference between project and product.
> GNU is a operating system, and is hosted on the GNU project machines
> (, Where does the GNU system "host"
> non-free software exactly?  [...]

9. A: The GNU operating system appears to host, for example.

> >  I pointed out that the GNU project recently assisted projects more
> >  proprietary-vendor-like than debian.
> Which projects are these?

10. A: Linux-Magazin, for example.

> > I understand that Sun's Java software will run on GNU.
> Maybe it can, maybe it cannot.  But the GNU system and project do not
> use it, distribute it, nor support it.  Compare this to what Debian
> does, which supports its usage, distributes it and uses it.

See 7 above.

> Your baseless attacks are boring. [...]

11. Note: So are repeated challenges of others to provide evidence and
examples, while never providing evidence or examples for allegations.

> You have refused to answer any of
> the claims of what the GNU project/system host for non-free software.

See 7 and 9 above.

12. Note: TTBOMK, I never claimed the GNU project hosts
non-free software (other than its manuals perhaps).  I
think that's mainly an artefact that few GNU FTP mirrors
are in the domain, while debian tries to give lots
of its mirrors addresses.  Certainly many GNU
FTP mirrors host non-free software.

Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2006 21:37:07 +0200 (CEST)
> As Debian (the operating system) is part of Debian (the project), [...]

13. Note: Operating systems are not debian project members.

> If Debian (the operating system) and Debian (the project
> [...] ) were two completley sperate
> entities, then Debian (the operating system) would be surley l`isted on

14. Q: What evidence is there that Debian would be listed
by FSF if non-free was removed?

15. Note: During the last vote on removing non-free from the
debian ftp network, we didn't get an answer on this.

> [...] but others wish to continue (if they don't wish to
> continue it, then they shouldn't reply).

16. Note: some do not wish it to continue, but do not want
FSFE's discussion list to continue as a misinformation source.

Hope that explains,
Laux nur mia opinio: vidu
Bv sekvu

More information about the Discussion mailing list