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Re: Freely distributable non-free packages

On Mon, Dec 07, 1998 at 11:33:41AM -0000, Milan Zamazal wrote:

> I went through copyright files of non-free and non-US packages in frozen
> to know what can be distributed on commercial CDs distributed for
> profit.

Congratulations, that must have been a lot of work.

> -   cannot be distributed freely
> +   can be distributed freely
> *+  can be distributed freely, but there are some patent problems
> @+  can be distributed only on freely redistributable CDs with other software
> ?+  can be distributed freely and I do not understand why it is in non-free

An interesting feature for non-free packages would be to have a special
header indicating WHY they are non-free.  For example:

	Package: ugly
	Non-Free: unmodified source-only no-fees patents crypto OTHER

The package maintainer for each non-free package could insert this line, and
CD distributors could use it to decide which packages they can distribute on
a CD, depending on their level of paranoia / moral complacency.

I don't know what exact restriction classes we should include.  I'd say that
a missing Non-Free header is like Non-Free: OTHER, that is, it has
restrictions not covered by the known restriction classes, and no one should
distribute it without checking the license first.

It sure would be nice to be able to get "unzip" installed without
downloading every time... it seems that at least 40% of popularity-contest
victims use it, despite its no-modifications restriction.

Have fun,


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