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Re: Was Re: KDE not in Debian?

On Sat, Jan 29, 2000 at 06:19:12PM -0500, Andreas Pour wrote:
> To be fair, people were offended by the Debian statement that
> distributing KDE is unlawful and to a lesser extent by the tirades
> offered by *some* Debian developers.

Being offended isn't going to solve any real problem.

The fundamental legal problem is that the GPL licenses require
non-prioritary distribution, but allows commercial distribution, while
the Qt licenses are proprietary to Troll but allow non-commercial

Some people see this and say: look, both allow non-commercial
distribution, what's the problem?  But that's not a solution anymore
than being offended is a solution.

> > Debian is not obligated to distribute KDE.
> Agreed, except to the extent Debian has the self-imposed obligation to
> supply its users with the best Open Source software packages :-).

Users are our priority, but the software needs to be 100% free, and
we don't hide problems.

> I think the success of Stormix Linux and Corel Linux prove that a huge
> demand exists for KDE with Debian.


> > (2) a maintainer who is interested in supporting it, and

> I think Ivan <rkrusty@debian.org> has been maintaining KDE
> packages for potato and slink, and has made them available at
> ftp://ftp.us.kde.org/pub/kde/stable/1.1.2/distribution/deb/, and I
> believe http://ftp.workspot.com/pub/kde/debian/. I also think Aaron
> <aaronv@debian.org> has been involved. Other people that might be
> interested include Bernd and Russell. If none of these gentlemen is
> willing and able I am quite confident a cross-post on debian-devel and
> kde-devel will turn up someone who is.

That's up to them to decide, of course.

> > (3) real permission to distribute from the authors.
> I do not quite know what you mean by this, but if you mean that to
> conform to your practice noted above of confirming from package
> authors that packages can be distributed by Debian, I will see if I
> can get the core KDE developers to send you their approval that you
> distribute KDE code. Mail me privately please if you think it is worth
> any effort and I will get started on it.

It's not me personally that needs permission, it's the entire world.
[Which means that mailing you privately for me to get private permission
isn't worth any effort.]

And, the most troubling packages are packages which were not written
by the core developers but were written by other people before the KDE
project began, and then were converted to support Qt.  Looking at the
ls-lr.gz site, I no longer see the packages which were written by third
parties, so maybe this problem has been solved.

If that's the case (and it's not simply package name drift), then the
biggest problem is gone.

I don't think that KDE binaries which use the current Qt
can go in Debian's main, but if the packages are put together
properly they'll have sufficient permissions in the the copyright
file to at least allow them to be distributed in non-free.  However, using
as an example, I don't see any such permission from the core developers.

And, I do see that kvt (one of those packages which was originally
developed by a third party) is included in kdebase.  It's very likely
that the original author of kvt would give permission to relicense the
software under the terms of the Qt license, but the current permissions
on kvt are sufficient to distribute it under non-free.  [non-free is
suitable for distributing software under non-commercial only licenses.]

Anyways, the package maintainer needs to put the legal permission to
distribute in the copyright file before we could even put kdebase under

> > At the moment, 2 and 3 both look like problems.
> Easily solved ones. Are there no other obstacles?

Ultimately, the only obstacle I'm aware of is the license conflict:
GPL is a non-proprietary license while Qt is proprietary software.

One other issue is that debian is currently frozen (no new packages),
so KDE probably won't be going out on the next cdrom (not that non-free
goes on the cdroms anyways) -- but this is more of a quality control issue
than a legal permissions issue.  And it's certainly not an obstacle for
getting kde included in debian.


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