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Re: Copyright question (BSD with advertisement clause)

Le Wed, Feb 06, 2008 at 06:44:38PM -0800, Russ Allbery a écrit :
> Charles Plessy <charles-debian-nospam@plessy.org> writes:
> > This example is maybe a bit artificial, but the point is that with such
> > licences in main, redistributors who use advertisement should in theory
> > read all the copyright files to check who to acknowledge. For this
> > reason, I wouldn't recommend to include this program in main.
> There is already much software in Debian main with this license and other
> Debian Developers who do not agree with this and who will continue to
> include such software in Debian main.  (It is, after all specifically
> called out as a free license in the Debian Free Software Guidelines.)  So
> the practical impact for a Debian derivative of including or not including
> one more package with the four-clause BSD license is minimal.

Hi Russ,

I think that it is a bit frivolous to distribute software with
advertisment clause in main and not properly warning the redistributors,
who are the most likely persons to infringe the clause. We should
remeber that for other aspects of licencing and intellectual property
management, Debian is much more rigorous, so the presence of 4-clauses
BSD licences is contradicting the principle of least surprise, that is
usually a good guidance.

Importantly, the copyright holders of such programs are often not the
programmers themselves, but the universities, who nowardays face very
strong financial pressures and delegate more and more the management of
the intellecutal property to specialised services, who can be ran by
people who know nothing about the spirit of free software that blessed
the researchers when they wrote their programs.

This is why, as a personnal choice, I do not take the responsability of
introducing new packages with the BSD advertisement clause in Debian,
and I suggest others to refrain as well.

Anyway, I really think that there are good chances to obtain a
relicencing, that is by far the best way to find a solution that
pleases everybody.

Have a nice day,

Charles Plessy
Wakō, Saitama, Japan

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