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Would this comply with DFSG?


I hope this is the right place to ask the following. If not, flame
away and apologies for wasting your time.


I work for an academic research project in the programming language
technologies trade. Among our current priorities is to extend the
knowledge of our techniques and show they can be used in the real
world. We're developing a industrial-strength implementation of the
theory and would like to get it distributed as widely as possible,
hoping for a world where it (or something like it) would, as a matter
of course, be included on the averange Linux CDs people buy.

On the other hand, we'd also like to avoid a scenario where someone
grabs our code and modifies it so it does wonderful things that
our version can't do, putting our institution out of the spotlights
when our technology eventually turns the world upside down.

I'm trying to make up a copyright statment that gets those ends to
meet. I'm targetting at DFSG compliance, partly because Debian is
the Linux distribution with the least opaque criteria for selecting
what's in it.

End background.

Now, would a wording such as the following be seen as complying with
the 'derived works' portions of the DFSG?

| - You may modify [the program] and use the modified form within
| your own organisation.
| - You may distribute a version of [the program] that you have
| modified [...] provided additionally
| a) that neither the accompanying documentaion nor
|    the output of the modified program can reasonably
|    be misread to the effect that the modified program
|    is the original [...]
| b) that the accompanying documentation clearly
|    acknowledges the modified program's ancestry
|    from code developed at [our project]
| c) that you include information as to where the original
|    version can be obtained.
| d) that you share your modifications with [the program's]
|    user community by
|    i - allowing [us] to incorporate your modification or
|        parts of it in future releases of [the program], in
|        return for giving you proper credit.
|    ii - making an honest attempt at communicating your
|         modifications to [us], e.g., by sending them by
|         email [...] You may distribute your modified
|         version even if you have not got a response yet,
|         or even if you have been forced to give up trying
|         to contact us. But you have to at least have *tried*.

(Explicit name references edited out to protect the innocent.
Anyone who _really_ wants to could easily find out, of course).

Henning Makholm

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