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Re: [GNU-linux-libre] Guix and FSDG

From: Freemor
Subject: Re: [GNU-linux-libre] Guix and FSDG
Date: Wed, 27 Nov 2019 11:28:32 -0400
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.21 (2010-09-15)

On Wed, Nov 27, 2019 at 03:36:33PM +0100, Jean Louis wrote:
> You mentioned the source code, so those liberation scripts are also
> against the GPL in the sense that user cannot get the actual source
> code for the modified software. But would have to run liberation
> script to get the modified software. That is wrong.
> If you provide binary that is modified you have to provide source code
> for the binary..

That is very clear. When linking it back to the GPL it make clear sense.

> > > Distribution shall offer final product, free software, and not tools
> > > to make the final product. That is unfinished work if users would ever
> > > need to run liberation scripts to get to the free software. While
> > > intention may not be to stear users to non-free software, that is
> > > exactly where users are pointed to, to see that non-free software
> > > exists, thus such scripts shall be run only by maintainers and not by
> > > users.
> > 
> > This last paragraph I have issues with. Tho I totally agree that a
> > user shouldn't have to run the liberation script to create a working
> > system if that system is marking itself as a Distribution. I am
> > completely against ideas like "shall be run only by maintainers".
> I have already said that liberation scripts shall be provided in a
> separate package in the same system, to offer users possibility to
> create the distribution themselves.
> Liberating software is something that maintainers need to do, but not
> give to users to run it, unless they are making the distribution.

I get what you are trying to say here. But to me it still feels less free then
it should be. IMHO anyone should have access to the liberation scripts as such
access is the heart of software freedom. I guess something in the way you are
wording it or it is hitting my eyes makes it land something like "only select
special people shall have access to the liberation scripts". I'll now assume
that is not what you mean and if this new assumption please clarify and specify
guidance as to what is necessary to qualify for access to those scripts.

> > As for "to see that non-free software exists". To me this is a
> > rather odd stance. We are in a world in which the defacto default is
> > non-free software.  To try and act like this does not exist is close
> > to nonsensical. This idea that the user must at all cost be
> > protected from that knowledge goes back to my paragraph above and
> > the treatment of "users" as "less than".
> Proprietary software shall not be delivered to users, as simple as
> that. 

I never suggested Otherwise. Saying icecat is based on Firefox is not
delivering firefox.

> We work on distribution of free software. Of course we want to
> protect users of proprietary software.

We can provide free software.  We can provide sound advice. We can be very
careful to to suggest or aid the use of anything non-free. We can educate. But
ultimately it falls to the user to protect themselves.

> If there are liberation scripts, such shall be used to prepare the
> liberated source code. Only liberated source code shall be delivered
> to user, and such source code shall exist as final product for any
> user who received modified, liberated binary, so that user can easily
> download liberated source code, without to run any liberation scripts.

thanks for the further clarification but this was implied by what you said

> > But to try to pretend that linux-libre doesn't come from a very
> > problematic Linux, to try and hide that association is misguided.
> Linux-libre kernel provides liberated source code. See:
> where it
> says: * releases: source tarballs tracking upstream releases, from
> which we removed blobs and code that induces users to install non-Free
> Software.
> So they provide liberated source code. It is clear they liberated it
> from proprietary software.
> Use their example, that is example how to distribute free
> software. They provide final product to user.
> They do not provide liberation script that is to ask user to download
> non-free software. They do not distribute non-free software.
> It cannot be simpler to understand that non-free software shall not be
> distributed. Whoever invented liberation scripts was too lazy to
> finalize the product or did not have resources enough. It is not way
> to distribute software and claim it is free, when it is non-free.

Yes perhaps linux-libre was a poor analogy or perhaps not as it allowed you to
elucidate the above. 

I think my point was poorly made I'm arguing against the scripts being hidden
or special access or whatever. That seems a concept that is less free and open
then it should be. Providing the scripts do not provide any non-free software.
They do not induce the user to use or install non-free software. At most the
include a URL. To suggest that even seeing the URL. Or the act of pulling the
resource at that URL for the purpose of liberating it will harm a user for me
feels like a violation of freedom 1. 

But perhaps I'm hearing things wrong. Perhaps you just mean that the scripts 
should not be distributed unrequested. That I could possibly agree with.

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