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Re: Leadership, effects on Debian and open source community

On Wed, Dec 02, 1998 at 11:29:58PM +0000, Jules Bean wrote:
> > to remove the BSD advertising clause and various licenses' patch clauses. 
> > If you believe Debian can exist without those, take away everything other
> > than the BSD utilities with the advertising clause and any software which
> > has a patch clause--including tex--and go and try to build a package like
> > bash.  You can't do it.
> That's an unfair characterisation of Ian's deprecation of the advertising
> clause.

I don't.  You don't decide something that is free will no longer be free
next version unless they change their license.  You've heard some people
describe "bug terrorism"?  I describe this as license terrorism.  Especially
since Apache is some kind of poster software for the whole Free and Open
Source movement.

> Since the regents of UCB are not going to release another version of the BSD
> utils, it won't be 'kicked' back into life.  And no one else has the power
> to remove the advertising clause.  So Apache is the only affected piece of
> software.  And I do think that the advertising clause is unpleasant.

Sure it's unpleasant.  But it's not unreasonable.  If someone was making a
version of Debian designed for a server and one of their points was
something about Apache, they'd have to have down with the rest of the small
print a little line about the origins of apache.  And it's more than just
Apache that this applies to.

> However, unwilling to make apache non-free, we'll probably have to live with
> it.
> I also strongly disapprove of patch licenses, including that which
> apparently Knuth has put of TeX (although there was a little confusion over
> that one).  Maybe we have to put up with that too, though..

Ahh, I see.  Rather than have a good policy to describe what is or isn't
free that's real simple and to the point that we can stand behind and be
proud of, you suggest we tighten our guidelines to the point that much of
the software we'd want is no longer considered free and the safest choice of
a license is the GPL.

Of course, we realize that we can't do this because it'd break Debian as a
distribution, so we have a little caveat that we can compromise on our
principles whenever we feel a package is important enough that the DFSG
doesn't matter because it's a must have, like apache and tex...

And we'll just compromise our morals, our commitment, and our credibility
away.  Congratulations Debian, you're the next Eric Raymond.  Well meaning
and with high principles, but ready to compromise whenever we think we need
to.  I cannot find this acceptable in any way, shape, or form.

Show me the code or get out of my way.

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