Re: MaintainerDatabase Copyright
Firstly. let me say that I deplore the confrontational
attitude that threads through this thread. I think that an effort for
reconcilliation would go further, rather than implying conspiracy
theories (Dave shall have a field day, I think ;-).
>>"joost" == joost witteveen <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
joost> 26 August, we discussed on debian-devel (see for references
joost> into the debian-devel archive footnote  below), the
joost> Maintainers database. Part of this discussion was about the
joost> copyright of the database.
joost> Just as with ordinary software, people are tempted to make
joost> their own licence for the (in their eyes) "new" catogory of a
joost> maintainer database. Initially, distribution was limited. Then
joost> some discussion on debian-devel followed , and it was
joost> decided to make it GPL. Then two people got together, and
joost> decided to change it again, to the "current" licence[For
joost> text, see footnote 3]:
Two people, out of the blue? How about, the collators of this
data, in consultation with the policy manager and the founder of
It was pointed out to us that the GPL may not be quite
appropriate for a dataset like this one, because the GPL explicitly
allows for modifications of the data. In this case, that part of the
GPL made people uneasy, and I caould see no reason to have the data
set being mutable.
The database is ultimately meant to contain more than just the
locations of the Debian developers, this will grow to include
security related information, public keys, phone numbers, addresses,
and other confidential information.
The full database is never going to be public information.
There are going to be report generating programs that output a
subset of that information, like an xearths file containing location
co-ordinates for the people. It is this report whose copyright we are
joost> - You're not allowed to make money selling the list
I think I dislike spammers.
joost> - You're not allowed to change the list (though you can
joost> reformat it).
We do not want additional maintainers to be added to, or
people to be removed from, the maintainers list by third parties.
joost> - You're not allowed to make patches for the data.
Same reasons as above.
joost> This change already has taken effect, and all new data
joost> collected for the database is with this licence. Without
joost> discussion on any list.
Hmm, This is a definite first; I have never seen any copyright
decided by the group before. I grant you this is different, since
people may not have disseminated information given a different
I wish that people had sought to help me modify the licence
rather than getting confrontational. Maybe we could come up with a
modification to the licence to allow "fair use" personal subsets
The people who caused the initial licence change came to me in
a non-confrontational manner, and convinced me of the
inappropriateness of the GPL. So far, I have heard of two people
against this new licence, and four for it.
If people wish to change their entries, (giving or refusing
permission to be added into the database), please resend your
application, or send it to me. I'll make sure your entry is
added/removed, just as you wish.
"When I was young, my position was: dynamite. It was only later that
I realized that this sort of thing cannot be rushed. It must rot
away like a diseased member." Hitler, on the churches.
Manoj Srivastava <url:mailto:email@example.com>
Mobile, Alabama USA <url:http://www.datasync.com/%7Esrivasta/>
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