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Re: plagiarism of reiserfs by Debian

On Wed, 23 Apr 2003, Brian May wrote:

> Quoting README, in particular the entire LICENSING section:

[Snip text about Hans Reiser assuming the right to re-license contributed 
work if it's not clearly labelled otherwise.  I don't have an opinion on 
the legality of it, but it doesn't sound non-free to me.]

README> Finally, nothing in this license shall be interpreted to allow you
README> to fail to fairly credit me, or to remove my credits, without my
README> permission, unless you are an end user not redistributing to
README> others.  If you have doubts about how to properly do that, or about
README> what is fair, ask.  (Last I spoke with him Richard was
README> contemplating how best to address the fair crediting issue in the
README> next GPL version.)

> On Tue, Apr 22, 2003 at 09:41:34AM +0100, Edmund GRIMLEY EVANS wrote:
> I am no lawyer, but reading up to here I am a bit confused if it is
> GPL+interpretation or GPL+extension.

IANAL either, but this seems clearly to be an additional restriction over 
and above the GPL 2c requirement.  It contradicts the statement that the 
code is released under the GPL.

If it contains or links to any GPL code not owned by Hans Reiser, it
appears undistributable.  If it is wholly-owned, it can be distributed,
but perhaps in non-free.  It depends on further interpretation of "fail to
fairly credit or remove my credits".

> It is also not defined what he is referring to when he talks about
> his credits, I would assume he means the rest of the details from the
> remainder of the README file. I thought that the existing version of the
> GPL already catered for this, but it appears I might be mistaken.

Credits in the README file don't bother me much.  Advertising during 
program execution of a tool or on module load is non-free if it can't be 
changed/removed (within the limits of GPL section 2c).

That said, I'd prefer Debian NOT remove such advertising, only that we 
guarantee users the right to do.
Mark Rafn    dagon@dagon.net    <http://www.dagon.net/>  

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