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Re: MaintainerDatabase Copyright

The first questionnaire provided two options:

  How can we redistribute the information about your location:
    [ ]  Can only be distributed amongst debian developers
    [ ]  Please consider this GPL

I suspect that a number of developers crossed the second box.

Now, "Please consider this GPL" is not an empty phrase.  It carries a
large set of implicit conditions and assumptions.  While it is not
entirely clear (to me) how the GPL can be applied to something that is
not a program, some parts of it do have obvious analogues:

  - The data should be free in the sense that free software is free.
    That is, everyone who receives it must have the right to use, 
    modify, and/or distribute the data, and to charge for distribution
    if that is desired. 

  - Everyone who receives a processed form of the data must also receive,
    or have access to, the "source" of the data, which the GPL defines
    as "the preferred form of the work for making modifications to it". 

  - Any modified works must carry prominent notices stating who changed
    the data and the date of any change.

  - You may not copy, modify, sublicense, or distribute the data except
    as provided by the GPL.

It should be clear that this is not equivalent to "do what you want
with this data".  The data collectors are not free to change the
license in ways that are not compatible with the GPL.  At least, not
without going against the expressed wishes of the developers who
crossed that second box.

Richard Braakman

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