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Re: Copyright question (BSD with advertisement clause)

Charles Plessy <charles-debian-nospam@plessy.org> writes:

> 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.

I don't think it's horribly credible that including software covered by
the 4-clause BSD license in Debian violates the principle of least
surprise when we specifically list it as one of our acceptable licenses in
the DFSG.

But regardless, practically speaking, the inclusion of one more or fewer
package in main with an advertising clause will make no practical
difference for the requirements of any redistributor.  Any serious attempt
to eliminate this license from Debian would face other challenges first,
such as removing OpenSSL from main.  Unless someone has a plan to do that,
which strikes me as unlikely, I disagree with an implication that
including another package with this license would cause any additional
problems for Debian redistributors.

I have no problem with your other arguments against the 4-clause BSD
license.  I'm not arguing that it's a good license.  But since you were
giving advice to someone who is new to licensing issues, I wanted to
clarify that including one more package with this license would not cause
any noticable hardship for redistributors compared to what they already
would need to deal with.

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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