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Re: [gNewSense-users] gNewSense's 'afio' is non-free?

From: Ted Smith
Subject: Re: [gNewSense-users] gNewSense's 'afio' is non-free?
Date: Fri, 19 Dec 2008 18:33:41 -0500

On Sat, 2008-12-20 at 00:14 +0200, Ali Gunduz wrote:
> On Fri, Dec 19, 2008 at 10:34 PM, Ted Smith wrote:
> I disagree with him on his general view that freedom oriented
> derivatives of popular distributions are useless or that the nonfree
> firmware issue is a religious war (i.e. an argument where both sides
> are evenly well supported and decisions are ultimately based on
> personal tastes).
> However, in the end, his contribution to free software by showing a
> bug present in most free distros and a possible flaw in Free Software
> Directory's screening process far outweighs his negative comments.
Well, correction: anti-"100% Fully Freee GNU/Linux distro" ranting. It
just seemed like he was being _very_ dismissive of the concept. He did
expose a bug, but he didn't do it in a "look at this guys, we have work
to do, let's get it done" way, he did it in a "hah look at what they
haven't caught" way.

> And this exact lack of clarity by itself disqualifies a program from
> being included in a GNU/Linux distribution that is committed to
> defending users' freedom.

Sure, but this isn't an SGI Free License B-type issue. This is a huge
gray area. The resources could probably be better spent investigating
other possibly more blatant freedom violations rather than a massive
goose hunt that could end up in finding the program free rather than
non-free. Pulling the program immediately will only enhance gNS's
reputation as a distribution by and for zealots (something which is not
true, but that's the FUD we have to deal with).
> I wouldn't qualify his blog post as a proper bug report but it is
> certainly a positive action. (And he seems to be active in the Fedora
> community in fuzzy licensing issues.) I hope he could find time and
> motivation to help us identify more packages with questionable
> licensing.
...but because he's clearly opposed to the concept of a fully free
distribution, I doubt that will happen in any form but snarky blog
posts. And are those really helpful?

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