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Re: Is Debian itself *really* freely redistributable?

On Sun, 2 Jun 1996, Mike Coleman wrote:

> It seems to me, though, that the Debian packages themselves (e.g., *.deb)
> files are derivatives that the package maintainers hold a (so far implicit)
> copyright on.  And, as far as I can tell, very few of these packages/files
> actually contain an explicit release (e.g., "I place my debian.* files and
> other modifications under the GPL").

This is unnecessary because of the fundamental attatchment of the GPL to
any successive source modification.
> To me, part of the important "checks and balances" implied by the GPL is that
> anyone who decides for some reason that the "official" branch of GPL'ed
> software 'foobaz' is unacceptable is able to fork their own branch (e.g.,
> XEmacs).  One result of this is to create a sort of marketplace--that is, if
> the official maintainer of 'foobaz' is unable or unwilling to be sufficiently
> responsive to its user community, someone else can start working on it,
> without having to start from scratch.
Any derived software is still required to include the original GPL, thus
any derivative packages are still associated with the original developer.

> With all due respect to our fearless leaders and package contributors, I feel
> like this is an important property for Debian as a whole to have.  (I, for
> one, am not sure I'd be able be able to resist if Mr. Bill offered to buy my
> interest for, say, 1/30 of 1% of his net worth.  ;-)
As a maintainer you don't own anything that Mr. B could pay you for
(except maybe some expert knowledge).



------------                                          --------------

aka   Dale Scheetz                   Phone:   1 (904) 877-0257
      Flexible Software              Fax:     NONE 
      Black Creek Critters           e-mail:  dwarf@polaris.net

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