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Re: git as a source package format?

Le Fri, May 03, 2013 at 06:50:22PM +0200, Bernhard R. Link a écrit :
> - legal problems
>   But the source packages are found on DVDs and mirrors all over the
>   world. Many people help us distributing Debian. We owe them to do
>   out best to keep them out of legal trouble for doing so.

Hi Bernhard,

The fact is that Debian does not make much effort to ensure that we do not
distribute unredistributable files in our mirrors and installation media, once
a package has passed its first copyright and license review.  While I will not
say that it is a good thing, I think that it demonstrates that, when
considering the legal side, the persons in charge in Debian (ultimately the
Leader and his delegates), do not see this situation as a stopper.

There is a tradeoff on every decision.  "Doing our best to keep our
redistributors our of legal trouble" is not incompatible with resdistributing
source as Git repositories, as otherwise it would be incompatible with
redistributing packages that have not been re-reviewed after each upload (which
is unarguably better than not reviewing them, from the point of view of
limiting legal problems to our redistributors).  Having a precise legal
understanding and action plan for when unredistributable files are found would,
in my opinion, be even closer to the goal of "doing our best".

Anyway, it is neither you nor me who decide where the potential legal problems
become a blocker.  In the absence of statements from the decision makers, I
would prefer if personal opinions like yours would be more clearly presented as


Charles Plessy
Debian Med packaging team,
Tsurumi, Kanagawa, Japan

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