[Fsf-Debian] few arguments to FSF

Karl Goetz karl at kgoetz.id.au
Sat Aug 11 00:52:13 UTC 2012

Dmitry Smirnov <onlyjob at member.fsf.org> wrote:

> As FSF supporter I share their passion to fight non-free in any form.
> I recognise the harmful nature of non-free and I wish we could be
> completely 
> liberated from non-free.
> To me FSF position towards Debian feels unfair because of great effort
> we
> all dedicate to keep non-free away from users and from the main
> project.
> Here I'd like to emphasise few thoughts:
>  * We protect freedom when we can but survival goes first.
> Let me explain this point. GPL aims to protect freedoms but in some
> cases 
> restrictions imposed by GPL may threaten the very existence of
> project.

Could you expand on this point? I have probably missed something that explains the next few lines.

> FSF recognises such cases and as a compromise they created LGPL just
> to guarantee some essential rights but not more.

>  * It allows us to have a place for GFDL-licensed FSF's documentation.
> One can argue that documentation is merely a convenience but I'm
> convinced it 
> is a necessity.

As noted elseware, this can be viewed or downloaded while online.

> * Censoring information is not Debian's job. We can be considered
> neutral in 
> regards to non-free software when we inform about it but leave
> decision to 
> user. Particularly in installer the dialog about availability of
> non-free 
> network driver is significant for project's survival because without

> 'non-free' section actually helps to protect freedom by containing and
> controlling non-free software. At least whatever non-free we must

containing and controlling?

> I like to know my non-free components and I receive a weekly reminders
> about 
> non-free I have, sent by lovely 'vrms' utility. This luxury I wouldn't
> have 
> without 'non-free' section in Debian. Unfortunate example of proprietary 

vrm does very simple checks on the package control data to see if its non free, packages have to mark themselves as non-free for it to pick them up.

> printer driver demonstrates lack of control over non-free software
> installed 
> not from repository. I don't even know where HP wizard installed its
> blob.

probably /var/lib/hplip, but if you want to be sure confirm with the source.

FTR, this is a known issue; Debian bug 451502. (thinking about it this should place it on he non fsdg list, i wonder if it is or not).

[trimming th rest]

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