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Re: Draft new DFSG - r1.4

Ian Jackson wrote:
[... a legalistic version of new guidelines ...]

I don't agree with Ian's new restrictions on the DFSG and I don't
like turning it into a legal document.

I would like to propose instead the following text, which is the 
existing DFSG, verbatim, with a short new preamble and some
exceptions at the end.


Debian Free Software Guidelines

These are the guidelines which packages must satisfy in order to
be included in Debian's main distribution.  This is not a legal
text; packages must comply with the spirit of these guidelines,
not just the letter.

  1. Free Redistribution

     The license of a Debian component may not restrict any party from
     selling or giving away the software as a component of an aggregate
     software distribution containing programs from several different
     sources. The license may not require a royalty or other fee for such

  2. Source Code

     The program must include source code, and must allow distribution in
     source code as well as compiled form.

  3. Derived Works

     The license must allow modifications and derived works, and must allow
     them to be distributed under the same terms as the license of the
     original software.

  4. Integrity of The Author's Source Code

     The license may restrict source-code from being distributed in modified
     form _only if the license allows the distribution of "patch files" with
     the source code for the purpose of modifying the program at build time.
     The license must explicitly permit distribution of software built from
     modified source code. The license may require derived works to carry a
     different name or version number from the original software. (This is a
     compromise. The Debian group encourages all authors to not restrict any
     files, source or binary, from being modified.)

  5. No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups

     The license must not discriminate against any person or group of

  6. No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor

     The license must not restrict anyone from making use of the program in
     a specific field of endeavor. For example, it may not restrict the
     program from being used in a business, or from being used for genetic

  7. Distribution of License

     The rights attached to the program must apply to all to whom the
     program is redistributed without the need for execution of an
     additional license by those parties.

  8. License Must Not Be Specific to Debian

     The rights attached to the program must not depend on the program's
     being part of a Debian system. If the program is extracted from Debian
     and used or distributed without Debian but otherwise within the terms
     of the program's license, all parties to whom the program is
     redistributed should have the same rights as those that are granted in
     conjunction with the Debian system.

  9. License Must Not Contaminate Other Software

     The license must not place restrictions on other software that is
     distributed along with the licensed software. For example, the license
     must not insist that all other programs distributed on the same medium
     must be free software.

 10. Example Licenses

     The "GPL", "BSD", and "Artistic" licenses are examples of licenses that
     we consider "free".

Special considerations

  Documentation must be modifiable in the same way as software.

  The licence of a Standard may prohibit alteration of the text.  However,
  it must allow the text to be copied and altered so long as the result
  does not pretend to be the Standard it was copied from.

  The licence of works of information or reference must allow them to
  be altered.

Other works

  Literary works or artistic images may be licensed under terms that
  prohibit their being altered, so long as they may be freely

National restrictions and patents

  The existence in certain countries of legislation or patents that
  restrict rights to use or distribute a package do not mean that
  that package is not regarded as free, even if those restrictions
  mean that it is not practicable to include the package in the main
  Debian archive.


Oliver Elphick                                Oliver.Elphick@lfix.co.uk
Isle of Wight                              http://www.lfix.co.uk/oliver
               PGP key from public servers; key ID 32B8FAA1
     "Thou, even thou, art LORD alone; thou hast made  
      heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, 
      the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, 
      and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all;
      and the host of heaven worshippeth thee."            
                                        Nehemiah 9:6 

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