[Ichthux-devel] Penguin in the Pew Available

Ben Armstrong synergism at gmail.com
Wed May 4 10:36:31 MST 2005

On 5/4/05, Don Parris <evangelinux at thefreelyproject.org> wrote:
> I was unaware that the CC license I chose would cause this kind problem.
> I do agree with the need to stick to principles.  Since I am not part of the
> Debian community, I will plead ignorance as to their social contract.  I am
> well aware of its existence, but not of the depths of its contents.  (I've
> been a Red Hat/Mandrake/SUSE guy through most of my GNU/Linux experience.)
> ;)

You needn't plead ignorance any longer unless you wish to remain in
the dark.  I did give you a URL, and it isn't terribly difficult to
understand once you read it. :)

> My complaint about the commercial aspect comes from other Christians who
> support FOSS, but only as far as it's gratis.  Every time I bring up the
> fact that developers *can* get paid for developing FOSS, they say nothing.
> It's always, "I support proprietary because I support a developer's right to
> get paid for his work".  I disagree.  I believe one can get paid for
> developing free software.

Right.  We're on the same wavelength, then.

> It is a shame that the various license terms cause such aggravating
> conflicts.  I regret that PitP 2.0 won't be able to be included with
> Ichthux.  I am, however, glad to know that there are folks involved in the
> Ichthux project that understand the licensing issues better than I do. :)

Is it possible we could convince you to relicense some or all of your
work under a DFSG license such as the GPL?  I understand your
arguments about why you licensed PitP the way you did.  However,
perhaps you could digest some useful key arguments from PitP into a
DFSG-licensed "HOWTO" document, and list PitP itself as a resource
there so that Ichthux users would at least benefit from the
"non-opinion" part of the document, and be able to easily find your
"opinion piece" if they are interested in further reading?

> But do I take that to mean that much documentation is left out of Debian?
> Aren't a lot of the how-to's and such under the GDFL?

Yes.  The GFDL was a poor choice for this documentation.  But since
RMS backed it, many people accepted it on his authority as being
perfectly "free".  If you want to understand why it isn't considered
DFSG-free, here's some reading for you:


> I was also assuming that the book would be treated differently, because
> books really are different.  Were I writing a simple reference work or a
> novel, or music, I would have offered a different license.  If not, so be
> it.

Scroll down to the end of the page cited above for Branden Robinson's
comments on that matter.  Bruce Perens, the primary author of the
DFSG, always intended that the *whole CD* be under the rights laid out
in that document.  There is no provision for "different treatment" of
some materials.  If there were an easy solution to that problem, I'm
sure the fine minds of debian-legal would have come up with an
alternate plan.  But they haven't, and so it looks like since the DFSG
hasn't been fixed, Debian will lose the DFSG-licensed docs currently
in Sarge after Sarge releases.


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