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Re: more tolerant licensing for Debian infrastructure

Scripsit "Jaldhar H. Vyas" <jaldhar@debian.org>
> On Thu, 3 Nov 2005, Thiemo Seufer wrote:

>>> Why do programs written specifically for Debian such as dpkg or apt,
>>> have a license which is not compatible with some other DFSG-compliant
>>> licenses?

>> Because the authors chose so.

> Obviously.  But the question was why they chose to do so when it goes
> against the spirit of the DFSG?

The GPL most emphatically does *not* go against the spirit of the
DFSG.  A very good first approximation to DFSG's concept of freedom is

  1. The GPL, version 2, is a free license.
  2. The BSD license is also a free license.
  3. Licenses that are "sufficiently similar" to the GPL or to the
     BSD license, or that lie somewhere in between them, are also free.

Nobody have yet convinced me that this is not by design.

Debian, and the free software community at large, is amicably divided
between those who under no circumstances want their work used in
proprietary software (and who thus favor the GPL) and those who just
want their work to be reused as widely as possible (and who thus favor
BSD-like licenses).

The big compromise that allows the division to remain amicable and
Debian to function as a conherent project - if you wish, the true
underlying "spirit of the DFSG" - is this: Neither of these two sides
get to say that the other side is wrong, not in the context of
Debian. We accept *both* styles of license equally and do not *as a
project* favor one over the other.  People who *as individuals*
contribute code get to decide which one they prefer.

Drop this premise, and our project will fall apart.

Henning Makholm                               "... popping pussies into pies
                                                      Wouldn't do in my shop
                            just the thought of it's enough to make you sick
                           and I'm telling you them pussy cats is quick ..."

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