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Bug#332782: Please explain the etch-ignore tag

On Tue, 20 Mar 2007 17:01:22 -0700 Steve Langasek wrote:

> On Wed, Mar 21, 2007 at 12:32:54AM +0100, Francesco Poli wrote:
> > Hi, could you please explain why this bug has been granted an
> > etch-ignore tag?
> > Why is it "not meaningfully an RC bug for etch"?
> > Is Debian going to have a release with *non-free* release notes? 
> > *Another* one?!?
> First of all, the release notes are not packaged; Policy 2.2.1, which
> you cited as the justification of your bug report, governs *packages*
> including in the 'main' component of the archive.

SC#2 states, in part:

|  When we write new components of the Debian system, we will license
|  them in a manner consistent with the Debian Free Software Guidelines.

I find it difficult to claim that the release notes, packaged or not,
are *not* a component of the Debian system...

BTW, why are the release notes not packaged?  I'm not sure this is a
good thing to keep as it is.

> Second, you've already cited, from
> http://www.debian.org/doc/docpolicy, a statement of intent that the
> release notes will be released under a DFSG-free license; and we have
> no reason to believe that the copyright holders (who are, um... a
> bunch of Debian developers) have any intention to do otherwise.

But, as a matter of fact, this has not yet happened.

> This is effectively a clarical error

What do you mean by "clarical"?  I'm sorry to ask, but I am not an
English native speaker and no dictionary could help...

> -- yes, it's unfortunate that we don't
> have a clear statement of the conditions under which people are
> allowed to reuse the release notes, but there is a clearly implicit
> grant of reproduction rights, since we ship these release notes on the
> Debian ISOs.

Debian hardly (if ever) relies on implicit permission grants from
third parties: why others should rely on Debian Project's implicit
permission grants?

> Third, there is simply no reason that we should delay the etch release
> while each contributor is tracked down for sign-off on a licensing
> proposal.

I filed the bug back on *October 2005*: there was plenty of time to
address the issue without any risk to delay the etch release.
Waiting for a release to be near and then tagging -ignore because
"we should not delay the release", sounds a bit awkward...

> If you want to see this bug resolved for etch, please:
> - propose a license on the debian-doc list

I already proposed the GNU GPL v2 in my original bug report, which
AFAICS has already been forwarded to debian-doc[1], since this list
is the maintainer of the release-notes pseudo-package.
We are currently talking on debian-doc, as well as on the bug log,

[1] http://lists.debian.org/debian-doc/2005/10/msg00021.html

> - once a consensus is reached there, contact individual contributors
> to the release notes requesting a license grant

Where can I find a comprehensive list of individual contributors
(whose contribution is creative enough to grant them a copyright
interest in the work)?
Are there any others besides the ones who are credited in the footer
of the contents page[2]?

[2] http://www.debian.org/releases/testing/i386/release-notes/index.en.html

For the record, the credited ones are:

  * Josip Rodin
  * Bob Hilliard
  * Adam Di Carlo
  * Anne Bezemer
  * Rob Bradford (current)
  * Frans Pop (current)
  * Andreas Barth (current)

Let's start collecting agreements on the licensing: each of the above
mentioned copyright holders, could you please tell (preferably with a
OpenPGP-signed reply) whether you agree to license your contribution
under the following terms?

  This work is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
  it under the terms of the GNU General Public License, version 2,
  as published by the Free Software Foundation.
  This work is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
  but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
  GNU General Public License for more details.
  You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
  along with this work; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc.,
  51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA  02110-1301, USA

Please indicate the relevant years, name and (optional) e-mail address.

P.S.: please reply to <332782@bugs.debian.org> and Cc: me, as well;

 Need to read a Debian etch installation walk-through?
..................................................... Francesco Poli .
 GnuPG key fpr == C979 F34B 27CE 5CD8 DC12  31B5 78F4 279B DD6D FCF4

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