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The GNU Social Contract

Hi Guys,

  I have been asked to let you know about a proposed Social Contract
  for GNU software.  This is currently in draft form, with the latest
  version being available here.  (I have included a copy of the document
  at the end of this email as well, in order to save you time):

  The goal of the document is to state the core values of the GNU 
  maintainers, uploaders and contributors who have endorsed it.
  It is both an agreement among GNU contributors and a pledge to 
  the broader free software community.  Additionally it is hoped
  that this can be a first step towards formalizing a transparent 
  and collective governance of the GNU Project.

  If you would like to make any comments or suggestions on this
  contract you can send them to me, or directly to the
  mailing list.  Although to do the latter you will need to
  subscribe to the list first at:

  The intention is to gather comments by February 9th with a view
  to posting an offical version 1.0 on February 10.



GNU Social Contract [DRAFT]

These are the core commitments of the GNU Project to the broader free
software community.  The GNU Project provides a software system that
respect users' freedoms.

# The GNU Project respects users' freedoms

The GNU Project provides software that guarantees to all users the
_Four Essential Freedoms_, without compromise:
  0. The freedom to run the program as they wish, for any purpose.
  1. The freedom to study how the program works, and change it so it does
     their computing as they wish.
  2. The freedom to redistribute copies so they can help others.
  3. The freedom to distribute copies of their modified versions to others.

The GNU Project adopts policies that encourage and enable developers
to actively defend user freedom.  These policies include using
_copyleft licenses_, designed to ensure that users’ freedoms cannot be
stripped off, when appropriate.

Besides upholding the Four Essential Freedoms, the GNU Project pays attention
and responds to new threats to users' freedom as they arise.

# The GNU Project provides a consistent system

The GNU Project develops an operating system, the _GNU System_, as well as
a set of applications.  Each software component developed by the GNU Project
is referred to as a _GNU package_.  GNU package developers work together to
ensure consistency across packages.

# The GNU Project collaborates with the broader free software community

Free software extends beyond the GNU Project, which works with
companion free software projects that develop key components of the
GNU System.  The GNU Project aims to extend the reach of free software
to new fields.

# The GNU Project welcomes contributions from all and everyone

The GNU Project wants to give everyone the opportunity of contributing to
its efforts on any of the many tasks that require work.  It welcomes all
contributors, regardless of their gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation,
level of experience, or any other personal characteristics.  It commits to
providing a harassment-free experience for all contributors.

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