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

Re: License discussions in Debian

Anthony Towns <aj@azure.humbug.org.au> wrote:

> On Mon, Jun 04, 2007 at 11:08:39PM +0200, Frank K?ster wrote:
>> I think that Debian would very much benefit if there was a place (call
>> it debian-legal@l.d.o or whatever) where our policy with regard to
>> individual software's licenes could be discussed with the input of those
>> who actually set this policy: the ftpmasters.
> Yes, that's the main reason for my involvement in this thread.
> Though it's not just ftpmasters, it's Debian developers in general; so
> that we don't end up with a consensus on debian-legal (or in ftpmaster)
> that doesn't match the views of Debian as a whole.

That's true, as an ideal.  In reality, you can't expect every DD or even
maintainer to subscribe to -legal except when they've got a particular
problem to discuss.  In this case it's a pity when you finally get the
impression that what you are told there neither matches the opinion of
the majority of your colleagues, nor of the ftpmasters - but the
ftpmasters' opinion is more insteresting for you in that case.

> AFAICS, that means welcoming developers who don't know the difference
> between "subpoena" and "summons", not using it as a reason to ignore
> them completely.

Definitely - if the NM process works as it should, at least every DD who
entered since it's been established should have a working understanding
of licensing, and that should be enough to *start* a discussion.  

I'm not sure, however, that this is the general attitude on -legal: I've
never encountered it.  Instead, I had the feeling that it was in
particular directed at you, since you seemed to claim to have better
understanding of the legal situation than your counterpart, and use that
as an argument for your position: In which case I can well understand
that the counterpart argues against this "better understanding".

>> If debian-legal isn't the place for you (and AFAIK none of the other
>> ftpmasters is a regular), maybe we need a new start and a different
>> format.  
> I used to be a regular on -legal, and I'm still subscribed. My views
> (such as "people who aren't speaking on behalf of the project shouldn't
> make it sound like they are"...) don't seem particularly welcome though,
> so I tend not to bother.

I don't expect that you engage in all those discussions.  But I remember
several cases where ftpmasters were mentioned on -legal, either in a
phrase like "finally, you'd have to ask the ftpmasters", or in
complaints like "the ftpmasters appear to have a different opinion, but
we don't know why".  In these cases, it would be really helpful if one
of you could step up and take part in the discussion.

And a mail like
is not only not-helpful-at-all, it's really discouraging to see a
discussion ending like this.  Well, in that particular case I'd
understand if you don't answer to the bug, but the reasoning could be
published elsewhere where Mr. $greps_for_his_name_on_debian_lists cannot
answer easily.

Regards, Frank
Frank Küster
Single Molecule Spectroscopy, Protein Folding @ Inst. f. Biochemie, Univ. Zürich
Debian Developer (teTeX/TeXLive)

Reply to: