[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Please remove RFCs from the documentation in Debian packages



On Fri, Jul 04, 2003 at 02:03:11PM +0200, Florian Weimer wrote:
> Andrew Suffield <asuffield@debian.org> writes:
> 
> >> Debian really needs a separate policy for works which are not
> >> software.
> >
> > We could have a policy for non-software, but it should still exclude
> > non-free things. What you are trying to say is "Debian really needs to
> > include non-free things".
> 
> There are borderline cases, such as the GFDL or free works in
> non-editable formats (PS, PDF, in some cases even HTML), or licenses
> or other documents of perceived legal relevance.

I have argued on debian-legal that licenses as applied to specific works
that are part of the Debian OS (meaning, "in main") are permitted to be
non-modifiable, for the same reason that the copyright notices
themselves are permitted to be non-modifiable.  In many countries,
including the U.S., it is a criminal offence to obliterate or modify an
copyright notice such that a work's copyright becomes fraudulent.
However, a document like the GNU GPL which claims copyright and has
non-free license terms could not be distributed in main of itself.
(Yes, I know that we ship it in a way you might think is "of itself" in
base-files.  You'd be right if we didn't have other packages' copyright
files refer to /usr/share/common-licenses/GPL, but we do.)

It doesn't seem too much of a stretch (to me) to say that the same
prohibition applied to the binding terms of a license text is not
problematic, for it obviously benefits us and our users to have correct
and true license terms on the software we distribute.

If we cannot have a good-faith belief that the license terms stated on
a work are not the ones that actually apply, then we might as well get
out of the distribution business.

None of this reasoning applies to the IETF's RFCs.

-- 
G. Branden Robinson                |    If a man ate a pound of pasta and a
Debian GNU/Linux                   |    pound of antipasto, would they
branden@debian.org                 |    cancel out, leaving him still
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |    hungry?              -- Scott Adams

Attachment: pgpOmA8b43ODz.pgp
Description: PGP signature


Reply to: