Re: Debian's "Modify & Redistribute" Policy
Brian White <email@example.com> writes:
> But your promise in not the point. The author wants this promise
> from everybody. It's the best way to be assured that improvements
> get distributed to everyone and not just a select group.
What if the author decides to not accept a change?
Say the author considers the intent of the change repugnant and simply
will not accept patches, even if it's runtime configurable and
defaults to off.
(I'm thinking along the lines of adding MIME capabilities to a mailer
written by Tom Christiansen :-)
This is perfectly within the author's rights, and it would be
unethical if not illegal for us to violate the authors wishes.
If the license permits redistribution of modified binaries, then if
our user base asks/demands that this feature be included, then we're
able to keep our users happy.
If not, we have a lot of users recompiling from source which largely
defeats the purpose of having a binary distribution.
And this isn't hypothetical, either; qmail is in this situation: in
order to be compatible with Debian's locking scheme, one must apply
the patches for .lock support, which Dan Bernstein has, I believe,
declared will never go into the core.
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