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Re: Can we pull KDE?

On Sun, 6 Sep 1998, Zed Pobre wrote:

> On Mon, 7 Sep 1998, Remco Blaakmeer wrote:
> >On Sun, 6 Sep 1998, Raul Miller wrote:
> >
> >> Supposedly, we have a policy of only distributing code for which we
> >> have a license.  With one notable exception (KDE) we've consistently
> >> said: either the author needs to fix the license, or we don't distribute
> >> the package.
> [...]
> >> I think we should just pull the kde packages out of debian.  When new
> >> packages are available with proper copyrights, we can distribute those.
> >
> >The whole thing with KDE seems to be, that KDE's GPL license and qt's
> >license have a major conflict[1]. The result from this is, that KDE can
> [...]
> >I say, drop KDE. Just like Red Hat did, and for the same reason.
>     Two things are bothering me here about this reasoning:  
>       1) Unless my memory fails me, the KDE people have offered to
>          change the license to a GPL-with-exception-clause for QT

Ok, I didn't know this.

>       2) We have a small number of other packages where the author has
>          also expressed an intent to change the license (or the
>          library) for the next version, but the current version has
>          this problem.

Sure, and we wait patiently for the next version.

>     If we are to be consistent about this, we should go through all
> the packages that link with qt, check them for GPL, and anything that
> is GPL also must be pulled.  If we don't do this, dropping KDE due to
> the fact that a new version with a new license has not yet been
> released is nothing more than persecution.

Yes. GPL programs that are linked to qt are a real problem. This problem
should be solved ASAP for all those programs, either by changing the
license for each program[2] or by dropping the package from Debian.

>     My own stance on this is that we should completely drop KDE for a
> much more serious reason: unless I also misremember this, KDE is
> currently incorporating GPL'd code written by people outside of the
> KDE project that have never consented to having their code used in a
> project linked to a proprietary library, and on top of this, this
> means that KDE cannot even legally change their own license away from
> the GPL, since to do so would require the consent (relicensing) of all
> the authors the code of whom has been incorporated.  Since that is
> unlikely to happen, I am willing to consider KDE a lost cause, and
> remove it completely from Debian specifically for that reason -- that
> the problem can no longer be corrected.

Yes. This is a real, and very valid, reason for dropping KDE from Debian.

>     Now that it has been demonstrated that a voting mechanism can be
> made to function, I would like to see the proposed Constitution
> finally implemented, and a technical committee actually created and
> empowered, since this is exactly the kind of thing that would be best
> handled by that form of leadership.

This is definately not an issue for the general voting mechanism: you
can't vote for things like "is it legal to distribute KDE?". And my
impression was that the technicl committee is supposed to be solving
technical probelms, not legal problems.

If it is clear that KDE doesn't have a proper license and it can't be
fixed, it should be sufficient to file a big against ftp.debian.org, IMO.

>     If you believe strongly that this is an issue that needs to be
> immediately resolved, I suggest that you call for a vote on whether or
> not the rest of the developers think it needs to be resolved before
> the technical committee is properly constructed.  Should that vote
> pass, it would not be unreasonable to call for a second vote on
> whether or not we should immediately remove KDE from the
> distribution.  Giving two weeks for each voting period, that will
> possibly give you an answer in one months time.

Are you sure you want to go through all that trouble? If any people would
happen to disagree, just point them at
http://www.redhat.com/redhat/qtlicense.html and say that a) this document
contains all the reasons RedHat needed to drop KDE and that b) Debian is
dropping KDE for the same reasons.

blaakmeer:  4:35am  up 11:22,  7 users,  load average: 1.87, 2.57, 2.47

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