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Re: DFSG analysis of default LDP license

On Wed, May 14, 2003 at 08:20:57PM -0400, Joey Hess wrote:
> > Well, I'm willing to go along with this, but it means adding yet another
> > exception to our "no invariant text" rule, in addition to the five I
> > already enumerated.
> I'm having a hard time with the idea of calling a peice of text that
> we're allowed to keep up to date "invariant". Maybe "unremovable" or
> something.

Okay.  I'm more concerned with the concept than the terminology for the
purposes of this discussion.

> We can probably come up with requirements for unremovable text that
> would be so onerous as to be effectively non-free, but the line is in
> a different place than the line for invariant texts.


> > I'd rather see this clause clarified until it can do some good, or
> > stricken entirely so it doesn't serve as bad precedent for more
> > invariant text requirements.
> Unfortunatly given what Colin said about the LDP being tired of hearing
> about copyright issues from him, they don't seem very likely to listen
> or clarify the license. 
> And I would hardly rate this amoung the worst written licenses in
> Debian. Licenses seem to either be written by a non-lawyer, and thus be
> vague, self contradicting, and prone to misinterpretaton, and thus suck;
> or be written by a lawyer, and thus be impossible to understand if
> you're not one, possibly contain poison pills, and skirt the very edges
> of the DFSG, and thus suck. :-P

I don't disagree with your remarks, but as I said, I felt it was only
fair to subject other licenses to same degree of scrutiny as we do the
GNU FDL.  Just as we should not accept a license from the FSF that we'd
reject from anyone else, we shouldn't reserve heightened scrutiny for
FSF licenses -- even if the FSF should know better than to publish
licenses that abrogate people's freedoms.

I think my critiques of the default LDP license are pretty minor and
should be addressable without acrimony.  If that's not the case then we
collectively problem have a problem with this upstream.  Are we really
sure this is the case?

G. Branden Robinson                |     "Why do we have to hide from the
Debian GNU/Linux                   |      police, Daddy?"
branden@debian.org                 |     "Because we use vi, son.  They use
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |      emacs."

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