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Re: Final Draft: Interpretive Guideline regarding DFSG clause 3

Scripsit Branden Robinson <branden@debian.org>
> On Wed, Dec 12, 2001 at 04:17:49PM +0100, Henning Makholm wrote:

> > Yeah. I wonder where all the bits about "individual good judgement
> > must be used" went. It seems to me that Branden has reacted to the
> > objections that too bright bright-line tests are not a good idea,
> > simply by defining another and even less flexible bright-line.

> You confuse me.  I perceived you and Walter Landry as being in favor of
> ditching the former byte-limit clause in favor of something closer to my
> Final Draft.  Perhaps I was mistaken?

I was (and am) for ditching the former byte-limit, but not in favor of
what I think your final draft looks like.

I think your Final Draft does a really good job of defining a class
of Cases That Are Unarguably In The Clear. My uneasiness is with what
we to with cases outside of this class. Your proposal does not say
anything about what happens there, and seems thereby to imply that
"they should be automatically rejected".

I think I would be satisfied if we added something like

3) If a copyright holder withholds permission to modify or remove
   other texts of a non-technical nature, the merits of including
   the work in Debian must be considered on a case-by-case basis.
   As a general rule, such works should not be included simply because
   someone wants to package them, but only when a compelling argument
   can be made that it would significantly impair Debian's value as
   a free operating system if the work was left out.

> We could decree that the GNU Emacs Manual, as presently licensed
> under the GNU FDL, is DFSG-Free, and you *still* wouldn't have the
> right-of-partial-reuse that you seek.

True. Let me try to clarify my position. I don't like the way the
Emacs manual is licensed, no matter whether we call it DFSG-free or
not. But I don't think that my dislike for it [1] should make it be
automatically rejected from Debian (which, after all is neither my
personal toy nor just a random list of various DFSG-free things, but
is supposed to be an actually useful OS). Just exercising my right
not look at things in black-and-white.

[1] Or rather, the features of it that make me dislike it.

Henning Makholm                    "It's kind of scary. Win a revolution and
                                a bunch of lawyers pop out of the woodwork."

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