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Re: My solution (was: My (less-then-important) personal position)


On Sat, Jun 17, 2000 at 04:59:56PM +0200, Eduard Bloch wrote:
> I think, that's exactly the point the most people are confused about.
> IMHO Debian should not lose the whole non-free section, only parts of it
> with extremely limited license agreements.

Unfortunately, those are also the packages with the highest popularity
(netscape,jdk, xanim).

> First, some packages which very small limitation like in the example
> above may still distributed on Debian CDs.

No way. You are stepping over the DFSG here, and this is something I and
many other will not agree with (and forbidding software to spammers is
certainly not a borderline issue. There is precedence, for example
forbidding software to the police of south africa [povray]).

A free software license is not the correct place to pursue your personal
agenda (beside free software :). (Even if the agenda is a good one).

> The second section ("limited-free") is meant to stay on the net or be
> distributed on CD media, depending on distributors will. This would
> contain packages with licenceses that allow to redistributed them on CDs
> without control of the author, still gratis available software but with
> serious limitations in the license. This section is not for shareware or
> advertisement/demo products. The packages has to be maintained by
> registered developers.

The problem is that this makes sort of a legal decision. We do such a
decision all the time, when deciding if a software is free. However, this is
a decision we have to make anyway, or we can't do Debian. What you are
asking for is a decision for the CD vendor, and this is why it is not
something Debian should do. Especially because it depends on the exact
conditions the vendor wants to sell the CDs (price, country).

Debian has decided in the past to stay out of providing such a legal
opinion, and we should continue to do so. However, if you want to make a
list of such packages with some fellow developers or other people and put
it on a website or so, more power to you.

> The 4th section ("third-party") is for the rest. The packages has not
> to be maintained by registred developers and should be stored somewhere
> on the net. A catalogisation system would provides method to get this
> software together. The licenses are different and should be always
> presented before the installation.  The packages in this section should
> become additional description tags to help the server maintainers to
> look for legality issues, eg.  because of patent-problems or violent
> content. But everybody should not rely on this tags if the source is
> unknown.

We certainly need the technical foundations for something like a web
ring for Debian packages. (An apt-get ring ?) :), but it should probably
not be maintained by Debian officially (because of the work involved and
the liability issue).


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