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Re: discussion with the FSF: GPLv3, GFDL, Nexenta

On Mon, Jun 04, 2007 at 04:07:30AM -0700, Steve Langasek wrote:
> > What I care about is having a reasonable, widely understood definition
> > of free software that meshes with the rest of the free software and open
> > source community, that Debian can use to work out what software we'll
> > distribute in main.
> That's a good goal; but 

Heh. Now there's a compressible phrase. :)

("meshes" does not mean "matches" or "includes". When I joined we were
more permissive than both the BSD and GNU camps (GNU complained about
the BSD license, BSD complained about the GPL, we didn't mind either),
but we've never done that blindly, as the KDE, Affero or GFDL stuff
should attest. I don't see why you'd expect us to start now)

> Debian has disagreed with other folks in the past
> because we believed their interpretations were irrational and contrary to
> the long-term interests of Free Software, [...]

I don't think you'd have to look very hard to find people who consider
debian-legal's intepretations of various things to be irrational and
contrary to the long-term interests of Free Software.

Unfortunately trying to have a discussion between those viewpoints to
resolve (or at least clarify) the differences isn't often successful. I've
already listed some of the ways I think -legal regulars could change that
situation, if they're interested. But I guess ultimately, along with
James, Ryan, Joerg and Jeroen, I'm one of fairly few people who really
don't have much cause for concern whether -legal becomes a really useful
discussion area or not.


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