[Fsf-collab] Random thoughts...

Henry Jensen hjensen at gmx.de
Sat Jul 7 13:45:37 UTC 2012


On Fri, 6 Jul 2012 22:13:52 +0200 (CEST)
Thorsten Alteholz <fsf-collab at alteholz.de> wrote:

> I understand that distributing non-free software is a problem. But why is 
> Debian non-free just by mentioning or linking to non-free-software?

Every free GNU/Linux dotro which wants to be listed at the free diostro
list mus follow the Free System Distribution Guidelines (FSD) [1] THe
FSDG clearly states

"A free system distribution must not steer users towards obtaining any
nonfree information for practical use, or encourage them to do so."

So, every explicit mentioning of non-free software could be interpreted
as recommendation. 

It goes even further:

"All the documentation in a free system distribution must be released
under an appropriate free license. Additionally, it must take care not
to recommend nonfree software."

So, I see that the following problems must be solved by Debian to be
listed as a free distro:

- The Debian kernel still is a problem, because it contains the names
of non-free firmware files. The kernel prints the name of the firmware
file to the log if it doesn't find the file. This is a case of
recommendation of installing non-free software and therefore a
violation of the FSDG. The only Linux kernel variant that does not do
this is GNU Linux-Libre [2]. So Debian must use GNU Linux-Libre or
delete the name of firmware files in the Debian kernel.

- There are some free software which recommends non-free software. The
perhaps most popular software is Firefox, which connects to
addons.mozilla.org which lists non-ree plugins. So does Debians
Iceweasel. So Debian must remove this recommendations from it's
software (e. g. use GNU Icecat or patch Iceweasel accordingly)

- All mentioning of non-free software, including contrib and non-free
repo, must be purged from all official Debian web sites, including wiki

- In the official Debian forums and mailing lists, there shouldn't be
any advice how to run a non-free program, see [3]. So, if any user asks
how to run a non-free program on a Debian mailing list, it should be
clarified that such discussions are unwanted. That means, that some
kind of moderation should be established to be sure, that such unwanted
advices or recommendations doesn't happen.



[1] http://www.gnu.org/distros/free-system-distribution-guidelines
[2] http://www.fsfla.org/svnwiki/selibre/linux-libre/
[3] http://lists.nongnu.org/archive/html/gnu-linux-libre/2010-12/msg00032.html

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