Draft new DFSG

J.H.M. Dassen (Ray) jdassen at wi.leidenuniv.nl
Thu Dec 3 11:55:09 UTC 1998

[Background, for those not on the Debian lists: Ian has made a controversial
proposal ("DFSG2") for a new version of the Debian Free Software Guidelines,
which would make some software that's currently considered free, considered

On Thu, Nov 26, 1998 at 19:25:00 +0000, Ian Jackson wrote on the
debian-devel mailing list:
> Jim Pick writes ("Re: Draft new DFSG"):
> > Oh no!  Now we are going to have two "standards" for free licenses.

> I see no problem with there being two standards of freedom. It's
> practically inevitable, in fact, given that Debian are very free software
> oriented and political, and that Open Source is very commercially driven
> and marketing-oriented.

IMO, this depends a lot on who controls / ends up controlling the Open
Source Definition. If it's SPI, it's not unthinkable to me that there'll be
updated versions of the OSD, which could might track at least some of the
changes in the DFSG. While this doesn't exclude the possibility of two
standards, in this scenario the gap between them might well be small. 

Open Source's purpose was to be a marketing tool for free software. Having
the DFSG and the OSD diverge would make Open Source a lot less useful from
my perspective.

PATRIOTISM  A great British writer once said that if he had to choose 
between betraying his country and betraying a friend he hoped he would
have the decency to betray his country.                                      
- The Hipcrime Vocab by Chad C. Mulligan 

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