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Re: more tolerant licensing for Debian infrastructure

Scripsit Lars Wirzenius <liw@liw.iki.fi>

> I strongly suggest we continue the current practice where the authors
> get to choose their license as they wish.

Of course there is no other way we _can_ go. If somebody decides to
write cool, useful OS infrastructure software and license it under the
GPL for our use, it would be absurd and meaningless, not to say silly,
to decide not to use said software simply because it it is GPL'ed.

The license-related criterion for including things in Debian is that
the license fits the DFSG, and the (interpretation of the) DFSG has
been carefully crafted to admit the GPL.

This must hold whether or not the somebody who writes the
infrastructure software happens to be a Debian developer or an
outsider. We're all volunteers as far as the project is concerned,
and we cannot even theoretically by GR force a developer to release
their work under a license they don't want to. The only thing we
could, in principle do, was not to use their software, but if the GPL
is good enough for our principal kernel, our principal C compiler and
toolchain, our basic unix toolsuite, emacs, et cetera, we would be
fools to let good infrastructure code lie unused simply because of the

Henning Makholm                "He who joyfully eats soup has already earned
                            my contempt. He has been given teeth by mistake,
                          since for him the intestines would fully suffice."

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