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Re: Status of Debian Policy

alegre@saturn.superlink.net (Fernando) wrote:

>Author: name and email of main upstream author (copyright holder)
>License: code describing license type
>Original-Site: site/URL at which the package is originally stored


>We could even go further and specify the type of non-free license.
>Common types are:
>Shyware: free use and redistribution of binaries, sources not available
>         because author considers them still alpha.
>I don't think there are many more types. The precise terms should be available
>in the "copyright" file, but since most packages would fall in one of 
>the previous categories, it would be really useful to have that shown
>in a concise way before installing a package.

There are also programs that fit this 'shyware' definition, but where
the author doesn't consider the source code to be 'unfit' -- they just
want to keep source to themselves.  This usually seems to be for
'artistic' reasons...  (justified or not...)

I've come across this sort of license quite a lot recently, while
trying to package up some of the adventure games from ftp.gmd.de -- the
author doesn't give out source because he doesn't want you to be able
to 'cheat' easily.  For these games, porting is not an issue, because
they are run using an interpreter, and the interpreter source is
available.  Bugs are handled by the upstream author, and in any case
are not usually serious, by which I mean they don't usually affect
anything other than the game player's enjoyment.  If they crash the
machine, it's the interpreter's fault, not the game's.

I'm not saying that anyone -should- keep their source secret (quite the
opposite), but it does happen.

--Charles Briscoe-Smith
White pages entry, with PGP key: <URL:http://alethea.ukc.ac.uk/wp?95cpb4>
PGP public keyprint: 74 68 AB 2E 1C 60 22 94  B8 21 2D 01 DE 66 13 E2

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