[Fsf-Debian] No response?

Paul van der Vlis paul at vandervlis.nl
Mon Aug 6 14:39:54 UTC 2012

Op 06-08-12 02:12, Bryan Baldwin schreef:
> With one exception (below) I can't find where we disagree. 

Nice to hear ;-)

> I think the
> commitment to being a free distribution is more important then whether
> any particular distribution is free right now or not. I could very well
> be that if Debian met all my points it might still not be considered
> free by nature of how well integrated contrib and nonfree are. This
> isn't a problem for free distributions that have never maintained any
> nonfree software.

Not sure. E.g. Trisquel could create a "trisquel-nonfree.org" what would
make it very easy for people to install closed source software.

> Here is where we disagree.
> On 08/06/2012 01:04 AM, Paul van der Vlis wrote:
>> I am sure you would like to have a free bios, a free router, free 
>> (cell)phones, a free TV and a free DVD player. Do you have them 
>> allready? In the case not: if you really wanted to be free, you
>> would have removed all those non-free devices.
> That isn't intellectually honest. Its an intolerable bit of casuistry
> that I do not like the stink of. This is why:
> * None of what I've said, or what anyone has said, has been an attack on
> the choices of users. GNU+Linux development is not intended to govern
> what individual people choose to take and use, only provide free
> choices for cosideration. People who value freedom may try to convince
> people that freedom is important. We do not tell them what to do.

I agree with that.

> * I do not distribute or promote nonfree software or devices.
> Technological freedom movements have nothing whatsoever to do with
> auditing the contents of people's homes. It has everything to do with
> making it possible for people to convey knowledge to one another in
> freedom respecting ways. It does have everything to do critically
> analyzing what developers are distributing to users.

I sell devices with mostly free software. Sometimes I have to use
compromises, e.g. for firmware. And I like to have good sources for that.

> Debian is not simply choosing to have nonfree software for personal
> use, they are publicly distributing nonfree software. I'm not saying
> they should be stopped if that's what they want to do. I'm saying that
> no one who says its free should be taken seriously. Its intellectually
> insulting when something insists that I am confused when I don't.

I agree with you here. In my opinion Debian should not distribute
nonfree software. But I don't have problems when Debian would work
together with people or an organization who does, e.g. by giving access
to a build farm.

I don't think we really disagree.

With regards,
Paul van der Vlis.

Paul van der Vlis Linux systeembeheer, Groningen

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