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Re: [GNU-linux-libre] In search of FSDG certification

From: stressware
Subject: Re: [GNU-linux-libre] In search of FSDG certification
Date: Wed, 02 Mar 2016 11:02:40 +0000

Ivan Zaigralin <address@hidden> wrote:

> Dear Linux-libreans :)
> I am writing on behalf of the FreeSlack project, where I am one of the
> lead maintainers, along with Matt Samudio. I am writing to this list on
> the advice of Joshua Gay of the FSF licensing team.
> On 03/01/2016 08:20 AM, Joshua Gay via RT wrote:
> > Yes, I think it sounds like it's worth taking a step in this direction.
> > The first thing I would do is join the GNU Linux-libre mailing lit if
> > you have not already done so and let them know about your project and
> > that would like their help in looking it over to make sure you meet all
> > of the GNU Free Distribution Guidelines (GFDG),
> > <>. 
> > 
> > I will have an internal discussion with the FSF licensing team and a
> > very quick look at the project to make sure nothing obvious stands out.
> > The most important thing is a project making a stated commitment to the
> > GFDG and promising to remove any nonfree bugs when they get reported in
> > a timely manner.
> These are indeed (some of) our commitments (we will amend our wiki to
> say so explicitly), and our official description follows:
> > FreeSlack is a Free eXpansion Pack for Slackware. The project's
> > primary goals are to document all non-free software in Slackware
> > distribution, and to make it easy for users to maintain a fully free
> > OS based on Slackware.
> >
> > Technically speaking, FreeSlack is a complete distribution and a
> > Slackware derivative, but we prefer to think of ourselves as a
> > shortcut to a free flavor of Slackware. We are not affiliated with
> > the Slackware project, have no developers in common, and share no
> > infrastructure. We use the term Slackware only in reference to the
> > stock OS distributed by Patrick Volkerding. One of our ambitions is
> > to become integrated within the existing Slackware community, and we
> > hope to achieve that by making the smallest possible changes needed
> > to deblob Slackware, while leaving all technical decisions up to the
> > Slackware team.
> [[ ]]
> We have a free DVD image which installs a deblobbed (free) derivative of
> Slackware, with package manager configured to use our free repository,
> so that the user is never compelled to obtain anything from the
> Slackware servers.
> [[ ]]
> The source code for the project is described and linked to as well.
> [[ ]]
> So we would like to go ahead and see if anyone would like to help us out
> through the certification process, and towards being officially
> FSDG-compliant. Please let us know what you think.

There are a some issues with Slackware that are not addressed by

* The file './lib/Support/ConvertUTF.c' and
  './include/llvm/Support/ConvertUTF.h' in llvm have the following
  'Unicode, Inc. hereby grants the right to freely use the information
   supplied in this file in the creation of products supporting the
   Unicode Standard, and to make copies of this file in any form
   for internal or external distribution as long as this notice
   remains attached.'
  The licence is unclear, but if they can only be used 'in the
  creation of products supporting the Unicode standard', then they are
* Elm's licence does not allow selling Elm: 'You may also distribute
  Elm along with any other product for sale, provided that the cost
  of the bundled package is the same regardless of whether Elm is
* Firefox, Thunderbird, Seamonkey, and Konqueror all recommend
  non-Free Software, and Firefox installs some non-Free codecs by
* Kopete recommends non-Free software.
* Hplip recommends non-Free software.
* 'sane-backends' has a file under the Artistic licence (the bad one):
* db4? include './crypto/mersenne/mt19937db.c', under the Artistic
* Bash's FAQ disallows modification.
* 'mtx-changer' in mtx is under the Artistic licence.
* The archive 'cis-cs-3.2.8.tar.gz' in pcmciautils's directory appears
  to contain blobs.
* syslinux includes an RFC file: 'doc/rfc5071.txt'.
* and in a2ps are non-Free.
* Files in the directory 'jpegxr' in ghostscript allow modification
  only if the software still conforms to the JPEG XR standard.
* 'man-pages-posix-2003-a.tar.xz' in the directory man-pages includes
  non-Free files.
* The following man pages in the man-pages package are non-Free:
  dir_colors.5, pciconfig_read.2, sysinfo.2, and mailaddr.7.
* Doxygen recommends non-Free browsers.
* The directory 'source/data/sprep' in icu4c has several RFCs.
* 'libogg' also has RFCs.
* 'common/sha1.c' and 'common/sha1.h' in libvncserver are non-Free.
* libvorbis: RFCs.
* Stuff in the directory 'converter/ppm/hpcdtoppm' of netpbm
  encourages the use of non-Free software.
* '' is non-Free and popt's man page appears to be non-Free.
* 'src/stdlib/SDL_qsort.c' in SDL is non-Free, but can simply
  be removed.
* Debian removed 'doc/html' from 'sip', so I assume that it is
* 'doc/mainpage.cpp' in libdvdnav says 'the author would like to be
  notified' of commericial distributions. This might just be a
  request, though.
* 'net-snmp' includes RFCs in 'doc/rfc'.
* portmap says '"Users may copy or modify Sun RPC without charge, but
  are not authorized to license or distribute it to anyone else except
  as part of a product or program developed by the user."'
* proftpd: RFCs in 'doc/rfc'.
* 'docs-xml/using_samba' in samba is under the non-Free Open Content
* The map-* files in font-util are under the same Unicode licence mentioned
  earlier. And 'ucs2any' in font-util requires these files to
  function, I think.
* The following fonts disallow modification:
  * font-bh-ttf-1.0.3.tar.xz
  * font-misc-meltho-1.0.3.tar.xz
  * font-ibm-type1-1.0.3.tar.xz
  * font-bh-100dpi-1.0.3.tar.xz
  * font-bh-75dpi-1.0.3.tar.xz
  * font-bh-lucidatypewriter-75dpi-1.0.3.tar.xz
  * font-bh-type1-1.0.3.tar.xz
* font-bh-lucidatypewriter-100dpi-1.0.3.tar.xz only has a copyright
  notice with no usage info and Mandrake has it in a 'non-free'
* The file '' of ffmpeg (which is included in the directory
  MPlayer) says that 'libaacplus.c' and 'libfaac.c' are under
  restrictive licences, but that they are not compiled into ffmpeg by
* electricsheep includes its own ffmpeg, which has 'libfaac.c', but
  not 'libaacplus.c'. It does, however, have 'libamr.c' which is for
  use with non-Free software.
* xaos's documentation only allows verbatim copying.
* XChat offers to open links in the non-Free web browser Opera.
* Slackware's distribution of xlockmore has images of J.R. Bob Dobbs,
  which is a registered trademark. I am not sure whether this would
  pose a problem to FreeSlack's xlockmore distribution.
* 'xminesweep' is mentioned on FreeSlack's site, but 'xsnow', which is
  also non-Free, is not. Also 'xneko' has no copyright information.
* calligra's manual says: 'It can be distributed freely, as long as
  this copyright notice is included. You may change it as long as you
  send me the changes or commit them to &kde; <acronym>Git</acronym>.'.

The following packages the FSF considers Free, so you can ignore this,
but I consider them non-Free:
* terminus-font: Under the OFL, which disallows selling the font by
  itself. The FSF considers it Free because a simple hello world
  program would satisfy the requirement.
* dejavu-fonts-ttf: Has the same kind of clause as the OFL.
* gawk: GFDL with Invariant Sections and Back/Front Cover Texts.
* groff: GFDL with Invariant Sections and/or Font/Back Cover Texts.
* bison: GFDL with Front/Back Cover Texts.
* gcc: Non-Free GFDL.
* gdb: Ditto.
* emacs: Ditto.
* glibc: Non-Free GFDL. 'tz-art.htm' in tzcode mentions non-Free media
  (not software).
* gnuplot: Only allows modifications via patches and requires that you
  give your 'name and address', though it might allow an alias and
  email address.

Some of this stuff can be fixed with patches, which you can find in
the source tree of Stressware:

For more information about some of this stuff see

Another problem with Slackware, and other distros, are some non-Free
SGML entity files. However, I am trying to fix that issue.

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