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Re: OSD && DFSG convergence

Steve Langasek writes:
 > [CC:ed to debian-policy, which seems a more likely forum for discussing
 > changes to core documents.]

I was told that debian-legal was the place to hold this discussion.

 > I suspect that I speak for a fair number of developers in saying that
 > self-determination is important to us with respect to such a fundamental
 > document.

We feel the same way, of course.  If there is to be a meeting of the
minds, there must be a sacrifice in some freedom on both sides.

 > Also, are you asking Debian to automatically accept as suitable any
 > licenses that the OSI approves?

Yes and no.  I think that would be a good thing, but I also don't
expect it.

 > Debian has at times disagreed with the OSI about the freeness of
 > some licenses, and I believe it's a good thing that Debian is able
 > to interpret a license's freeness for itself.

Our decisions about the freeness of a license come from the terms of
the OSD.  We can NOT be arbitrary.  A California public benefit
corporation is prohibited from doing such things.  So if you have a
problem with anything we've done, then we should be looking at
revising the OSD to give us the tools to decide the same way you
think we should.

 > If Debian (in the form of the debian-legal mailing list and the
 > ftpmasters) continues to render its own interpretation of the OSD,
 > do you still see benefits to convergence in the text of the
 > guidelines?

Yes, if only because it's a start.  I don't mind if we don't get to
the end in one step.

 > I'm inclined to believe that your second example is also a minor
 > issue, because if the software is DFSG-compliant in all other
 > respects, it should be possible to legally remove the click-wrap
 > requirement from the code -- just as you can charge someone a fee
 > for giving them GPL software, but you cannot prevent them from
 > giving it away for free once they have it.

Why do you think you can unilaterally change the terms of a license?

 > Can you provide a reference to the changes to the OSD text for our
 > consideration?


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Crynwr sells support for free software  | PGPok | the government does less,
521 Pleasant Valley Rd. | +1 315 268 1925 voice | not when the government
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