[Fsf-Debian] No response?

Paul Wise pabs at debian.org
Fri Aug 3 20:12:02 UTC 2012

On Fri, Aug 3, 2012 at 11:38 AM, Paul van der Vlis wrote:

> I agree with the FSF when they say: "Debian also provides a repository
> of nonfree software".
> And even with my idea they could say: "Debian still has a repository of
> nonfree software", and they have a point then.
> What I want is to make some steps in the good direction: no non-free
> software from the debian.org repositories.

I don't believe that putting the non-free software on a different set
of infrastructure still maintained by Debian is meaningfully different
to what we have now. Debian would still be providing non-free/contrib
to our users and I imagine the FSF would still say "Debian still has a
repository of non-free software". The only difference would be the URL
where the non-free bits are located, which (IMO) is not meaningfully
different to what we have now.

>> Is there an opportunity to make the separation between what "is" and "is not"
>> Debian even clearer, and to do it in a way that remains consistent with Debian's
>> social contract?
> I think my idea would make it clearer. But not 100% sure it's worth the
> work. Maybe there are other things more important.

Fundamentally, the issue seems to be about the clarity of the
distinction between Debian (the 'main' section) and non-free/contrib.
Do we have any opinion from RMS or other FSF folks about what amount
of clarity is required before they would consider Debian a "free
distro"? Until we have that there isn't much point discussing
potential levels of separation. For example if Fedora dropped all
their non-free firmware and moved them to RPM Fusion (the repo of
non-free bits for Fedora users), would that be enough for them to be
added to the list of "free distros"? The non-free firmware would still
be out there and still used by developers and users alike. I imagine
this situation will persist until the Free Hardware movement eclipses
the likes of Sony/Samsung/Apple/Dell and so on.



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