Hi Mark,

Mark Wielaard <m...@klomp.org> skribis:

> I think this is a really good starting point for getting feedback from
> other GNU maintainers, developers, stakeholders to see whether they
> would agree with this GNU mission statement. And discuss with the
> broader community whether it actually says what we want it to (what in
> it makes it real GNU and not some generic "open source" thing)?

Good point; though it wouldn’t be bad either if the social contract was
similar to that of a free software project with similar goals.

> For example I think this is one of those things:
>> Unless the GNU Project deems that a different choice furthers the advancement
>> of free software, all software written by the GNU Project is distributed
>> under /copyleft licenses/, designed to ensure that developers cannot strip 
>> off
>> users' freedom from GNU software.
> But it also looks like a "policy" issue, that shouldn't really be in
> the social contract itself. This feels more like something that should
> follow from the mission statement/social contract in the context of
> working on actual software.

I think copyleft is a “salient feature” of GNU, compared to many other
free software projects, and indeed, GNU has its own licenses for that
purpose.  So to me, copyleft has its place in the social contract,
rather than in a separate policy.  We still need to leave room for the
rare exceptions (Speex, ncurses), but there should be a clear stance in
favor of copyleft licenses IMO.


> What are other policies that would/should follow from the social
> issues? Or should maybe be in the contract itself?
> For example one core policy seems to be that we prefer the copyright to
> be held individuals or the FSF (instead of being held by corporations)
> so that the user freedoms are actually upheld when copyleft is used.

I don’t think there’s such a policy right now, is there?

> Is that something that should be in the social contract? Does it
> follow from what is in it now? Or should we add something to make the
> (abstract) idea clear? (e.g. The GNU Project prefers policies that
> encourage and enable developers to actively defend the users'
> Freedom.)

I think it’s implicit that project policies cannot contradict the
higher-level goals set forth by the social contract.


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