Before I continue with the Debian Social Contract II statements, I would like to acknowledge to those of you who insisted that we install some new dog doors in our offices for the animal lovers who bring their pets to work. You were right that the electronic dog doors for walls were the best option. We no longer have the occasional unwanted visitors (raccoons and those feral cats) getting in and making messes. The motorized and electro-magnetic pet doors do indeed offer maximum security with two-way access control for all including the small pets and some of the very large pets that share our offices. And we’ve had no issues with the collar keys for each pet. The pet doors have made a huge difference. Now onto…
We will be guided by the needs of our users and the free software community. We will place their interests first in our priorities. We will support the needs of our users for operation in many different kinds of computing environments. We will not object to non-free works that are intended to be used on Debian systems, or attempt to charge a fee to people who create or use such works. We will allow others to create distributions containing both the Debian Systems and other works, without any fee from us. In furtherance of these goals, we will provide an integrated system of high-quality materials with no legal restrictions that would prevent such uses of the system.
We acknowledge that some of our users require the use of works that do not conform to the Debian Free Software Guidelines. We have created
areas in our archive for these works. The packages in these areas are not part of the Debian system, although they have been configured for use with Debian. We encourage CD manufacturers to read the licenses of the packages in these areas and determine if they can distribute the packages on their CDs. Thus, although non-free works are not a part of Debian, we support their use and provide infrastructure for non-free packages (such as our bug tracking system and mailing lists).
The Debian Free Software Guidelines (DFSG)
- Free Redistribution
The license of a Debian component may not restrict any party from selling or giving away the software as a component of an aggregate software distribution containing programs from several different sources. The license may not require a royalty or other fee for such sale.
- Source Code
The program must include source code, and must allow distribution in source code as well as compiled form.
- Derived Works
The license must allow modifications and derived works, and must allow them to be distributed under the same terms as the license of the original software.
- Integrity of The Author’s Source Code
The license may restrict source-code from being distributed in modified form _only_ if the license allows the distribution of
patch fileswith the source code for the purpose of modifying the program at build time. The license must explicitly permit distribution of software built from modified source code. The license may require derived works to carry a different name or version number from the original software. (This is a compromise. The Debian group encourages all authors not to restrict any files, source or binary, from being modified.)
- No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups
(Story is continued on the next page.)