Re: license requirements for a book to be in free section
On Tue, Jan 29, 2002 at 09:39:07AM -0500, Peter S Galbraith wrote:
> > > So far, we have generally chosen to interpret the aggregation clause
> > > *very* strictly, as requiring even trivial aggregations to be
> > > permitted. The license should also be neutral about the medium it is
> > > distributed on.
> > Well, why not simply drop this clause, if it can be circumvented easily by
> > adding a one liner, one wonders why it went into the DFSG in the first place,
> > and what we would have to remove from debian if we would remove this clause.
> I agree that it would be nice if someone had the energy to follow
> through on changes like this. However changes to the DSFG are not
> easily done. But this does appear to be a weak spot.
Well, anything worthwil requires some effort, and in the social contract we do
speak about not hiding problems, altough i know this is in reference to the
bugs, it doesn't mean we are not refusing to look at some kind of problem
> > My problem is that i would really like to have this documentation
> > installed on my computer, so i can look at itwhen i want, even if i
> > don't own the book. This is already possible, since they make the
> > full book available per web, but it would be ncie to have it also in
> > debian, so i can install it form the debian CDs on my offline home
> > box. (altough i own the book also)
> > Not what is the problem with this ? It adds to the value of debian,
> > adds to the freedom of the users, who may wich to ship only part of
> > it, collect it with other valuable info and so on.
> It adds _some_ value to the CD for the end user. But the same can be
> argued about adding any non-free software.
Well, we should at least the say that we consider documentation as being
software, or something such, also, i am not sure, but the electronic form of
this documentation has all the stuff needed to make it free software, it can
be modified, redistributed, etc, ...
Just not printed as is, but it can be printed in aggregation, and like said in
a previous mail, the aggregation of a empty content one liner is not allowed
by the DFSG :
as a component of an aggregate software distribution containing programs from
several different sources
Notice how here it speaks about an aggregation of software (not books or
documentation, but this is discutable) containing programs (which definitely
doesn't fit the definition of a printed documentation, since programs are a
group of machine instruction which can be executed and run on some kind of
So anyway, i understand the intention of the debian-legal group here, about
requiring only true free documentation, but it is _not_ what the DFSG says,
and also i don't think this is the right place to fight a crusade against
oreilly so they adopt a freeer licencing scheme fro their books.
> > But the non printable clause, to whom does it add freedom, only to
> > those who want to print the book and sell it, i guess it doesn't even
> > block people from printing it for themselves, or joining money to have
> > a set of them printed, where each copy will get to the personal use of
> > the people printing them, and not sold.
> > The only people who will have a problem with this, would be those guys
> > who look at the debian stuff, and say, look at this nice book, let's
> > get it print it without change, and sell it to make profit. This kind
> > of behavior adds nothing to the debian community nor to the society in
> > general, it only makes some people richer and that is it.
> Let me try the following: s/printing book/burning CDs/
It's not the same.
Burning CDs is one of the most important method of distributing debian, while
we didn't do books anyway.
Also notice, that what we are doing here is not really future proof, with the
advent of the electronic paper/books, or whatever, it is important for us to
secure the right to electronic distribution, not the printed version, altough
it would be nice to get also the right to make printed copies for oneself.
> But the non-burning clause, to whom does it add freedom, only to
> those who want to burn the CD and sell it, i guess it doesn't even
> block people from burning it for themselves, or joining money to have
> a set of them burned, where each copy will get to the personal use of
> the people burning them, and not sold.
And we fear to distribute decss, and the other stuff which may cause problem
with the music and film industry ?
> The only people who will have a problem with this, would be those guys
> who look at the debian stuff, and say, look at this nice distribution, let's
> burn CDs without change, and sell them to make profit. This kind
> of behavior adds nothing to the debian community nor to the society in
> general, it only makes some people richer and that is it.
Again, it is not the same, burning CDs is one of our main media of
distribution, while printing books is not what we do. (or do we ?)
> Now, we all now that the right to resell Debian CDs leads to a market
> where CDs costs a few dollars. Why would you think a company would get
> away with selling a re-printed O'Reilly book for $50 under such a
> license? Would the market allow it?
Again, if you don't like the printed restriction or other stuff in licences,
then don't be shy, and state it as such in the DFSG, or write it in a Debian
free documentation guidelines. Or are you afraid it will not pass the vote,
and prefer to use cabalistic methods to enforce your will ?
> The question becomes: Does O'Reilly wish to allow the possibility that
> the book will be reprinted for $5 or $10? Probably not before they have
> made their own money on the sale of the book. So let's acknowledge that
> the current license is non-free for this reason (unless they would allow
> a trivial aggregation). When they consider the book to have lost market
The DFSG speaks about software and programs, not about books and
documentation, and anyway, it speaks about aggregation of several programs,
not about trivial aggregation. You only want to allow (or permit, i am never
sure when to use which) trivial aggregation because you don't want to take the
trouble of doing this the right way, that is changing the DFSG so it says, not
what it currently says, but what you really want. The only problem with that
is to know if the whole of debian will be of the same mind about it.
> value, they will consider releasing it under a free license, as they did
> with 'MH & xmh: Email for Users & Programmers'
> (http://www.oreilly.com/openbook/mh/) which I packaged for Debian as
under what licence ?
And again, this is the problem i feel with this whole discution, you are not
tryingto help Stefano handle this so he could solve this packaging issue, you
are fighting a crusade against oreilly on the licencing issue, this is not
correct with stefano, who is one of our fellow debian maintainer, and should
be considered as such.