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Re: summary of software licenses in non-free

On Tue, Jan 13, 2004 at 04:28:46PM +0000, Henning Makholm wrote:
> The problem is that it would be hard to make use of such a line
> without confusing uninitiated users. For example, if a package in
> non-free had
>  Non-DFSG: 3
> and a tool that parsed that displayed
>  This package is non-free because
>    - it does not allow modifications and distribution of modified source.

you are missing the point.

this "Non-DFSG:" field is *NOT* intended to describe why a package fails a
particular clause, it is intended solely to *list* which clause(s) it fails.
nothing more, nothing less.

this is useful in itself.  it is not intended to be perfect, or to solve all
problems.  it is intended to provide a quick and dirty way of tabulating
license problems in non-free.

it also has the advantage of being factual.  a license either satisfies a
particular DFSG clause, or it does not.

a human readable summary of what is wrong with the license should *ALSO* exist,
perhaps as has been suggested in a separate file called Debian.non-free or

> Or imagine a license that was all fine and dandy except it contained a "you
> must monitor my website" clause. TTBOMK all debian-legal regulars agree that
> we do not consider that free, but which clause of the DFSG would we point to
> here? The best we could do would be to put
>  Non-DFSG: 1, 2, 3, 7

that works (it is true, after all), or it may be better to use a misc category
such as "Non-DFSG: other".


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