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Re: Leadership, effects on Debian and open source community

On Fri, Dec 04, 1998 at 12:25:56AM -0500, Raul Miller wrote:
> > "The BSD advertising clause is not free software.  Apache?  That's just too
> > important, we had to make an exception for it."  NO.
> Even if the exception is no timeout?

Either it's free or it's not.  Deciding whether or not it's free based on
the license and if the license fails then the importance of the package... 
No, that's exactly what I don't want to see.  I would consider that sort of
thing evidence that the Debian project has failled because it could not meet
the social contract.

> > I consider the timeout on the BSD advertising clause to be essentially
> > license terrorism. Change your license or we'll start calling your
> > program non-free! The idea is wrong, the suggested workarounds are
> > even MORE wrong, and the whole idea of calling what everyone else in
> > the world considers Free Software--and even we did for the past 5
> > years or so--but it no longer is because we decided we didn't LIKE
> > part of the license because it's slightly inconvenient and won't let
> > us relicense it as GPL...
> Eh, you haven't addressed the potential complexity of distributing
> "free" software if a thousand different people start creating
> software with advertising clauses.

You're right, I haven't.  And I can't.  This is no different than the GPL
and the Mozilla 3 year source code availability.  Damned inconvenient at
times but what can you do?

> Here's my next contribution:  Assuming we permit software with advertising
> clauses in Debian, we must be responsible for creating the cannonical
> "Debian with Advertising Clauses" text, which anyone advertising Debian
> must reproduce in all their ads (they may come up with their own text,
> in which case they're clearly assuming legal responsibility for this
> issue).  Currently, we're lax in this regard (which means we're possibly
> contributing to copyright violation).

This should be the maintainer's job to make sure their packages are listed. 
Lintian check for advertising clause could help there.

> I've not yet decided one way or the other about the general goodness of
> the advertising clause.  My focus is on making the arguments for each
> side make sense.

I'm still listening to the arguments, but I haven't seen anything compelling
yet as to why the advertising clause is so bad.  The patch clause doesn't
even affect Debian directly, so it's purely an argument of "I don't like it,
it's bad" vs. "I don't like it either, but it's not THAT bad".  (Nobody
seems to think it's a good thing)

Show me the code or get out of my way.

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