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Re: [gNewSense-users] Is Fedora 100% free software? If so, how does it

From: J.B. Nicholson-Owens
Subject: Re: [gNewSense-users] Is Fedora 100% free software? If so, how does it differ from gNewSense?
Date: Mon, 06 Nov 2006 15:21:58 -0600
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20060918)

jeff wrote:
You actually have to do the research though, not just speculate...

I hope that you are not saying this antagonistically, are you? The work I did was research, in fact providing considerable detail and I asked honest questions about what I didn't know. I have no obligation to do any research here, I've I made no claim that Fedora has non-free software in it. Furthermore, the points I raised about Fedora package's licenses were not speculation.

Basically, I think my point is that Fedora is actually far closer to the Free Software model than most people realize... And if it's not Free, it's a bug, just like it is in gnewsense.

I don't think that would be considered a bug; as I said before, judging by the documentation of Fedora I've read, Fedora hitches their wagon to the more permissive OSI-approved set of licenses and the OSI doesn't talk much about software freedom.

If Fedora wants to convince people that software freedom is their main pursuit, then Fedora should say as much by name rather than promote the more permissive open source philosophy (which they apparently are happy to name by name). I see this as a difference between gNewSense and Fedora.

You can also look at this in terms of what the FSF calls "freedom talk" (as they say in their "Why Free Software is better than Open Source" essay). Teaching people about software freedom is important for the FSF; I imagine other free software advocates have the same interest. Hence they won't promote Fedora like they will gNewSense. I can only surmise that there is a line to toe for the free software movement, just as one expects whenever someone promotes what they deem valuable. This doesn't justify saying things about Fedora that are untrue, but from what I can see Fedora doesn't wish to side with the movement that promotes software freedom.

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