[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: xforms exception for xmysqladmin needed?

Martin Bialasinski <martin@internet-treff.uni-koeln.de> writes:

> It doesn't say, the binary and the sources have to be in the same
> archive file. In fact, it doesn't say anything about archive files (or
> similar). The entity in which xmysqladmin is distributed by Debian are
> out archives. And they contain the source.

Well, yes. However, Debian's goals in licensing issues are twofold:

1. To prevent the Debian archive itself from violating copyright

2. To make reasonably sure that a CD-ROM vendor would not be violating
   copyright conditions by selling binary disks separately.

The second of this is not to be taken lightly just because there
wouldnt be any concrete legal threat to the Debian project if it
failed. It would do immense damage to Debian's reputation if someone
were to successfully sue a CR-ROM vendor over selling Debian binary
disks. And Debian would lose a most important distribution channel.

My personal opinion, though, is that we should have peace in accepting
short-worded licenses that just say something like "binary distribution
must be accompanied by source" without further qualification about
what "accompanied" means. In most cases the author really meant to
allow distribution on GPL-like terms and simply failed to understand
the legal importance of being precise about what one means.

Of course that is, unless we know definitely that the author wants
a less liberal interpretation of the wording.

Still, it might be a good idea to keep a "important" bug open on the
loose wording until the author has been asked to answer specifically if
he thinks the license would prevent a commercial vendor from selling
media with binary packages, if it offers source separately. If the
author has no problems, his answer should be included in the copyright
file for the package and everyone will be happy.

Henning Makholm

Reply to: