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Re: Debian Free Software License?

On Thu, Apr 17, 2003 at 02:47:20PM +0200, Joerg Wendland wrote:
> is there anything like a Debian Free Software License? A license that is
> modelled after the DFSG? For me as free software developer, that would be a
> nice to have. I couldn't find a discussion about something similar in the
> list archives. Is this worth a discussion? Regarding the latest FDL
> discussion, would it be feasible to create a Debian Free Documentation
> License?

One way to think about the DFSG[1] is to conceive of it as a sequence of
tests that is applied to a license.  If it passes all the tests, it
*might* be a DFSG-free license.  If it fails one or more, it most likely
is not.  This a gray endeavor, not a scientific one like chemical
analysis.  But even in chemical qualitative analysis, it is the case
that knowing how to distinguish an acid from a base doesn't of itself
tell you how to stick together atoms to create an acid.

It is partly for this reason that I feel that the DFSG is an inadequate
tool -- when taken all by itself -- for constructing a license.  It's a
good thing to read and have in mind when writing one, but it doesn't
tell you everything you need to know.

[1] I don't claim that everyone thinks about it this way

G. Branden Robinson                |    Imagination was given man to
Debian GNU/Linux                   |    compensate for what he is not, and
branden@debian.org                 |    a sense of humor to console him for
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |    what he is.

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