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Re: Unicode Character Database

On Mon, Jul 07, 2003 at 05:10:38PM -0500, Steve Langasek wrote:
> On Mon, Jul 07, 2003 at 10:34:36PM +0200, Florian Weimer wrote:
> > Steve Langasek <vorlon@netexpress.net> writes:
> > > This license is not actually DFSG-free; it grants the right to make
> > > copies, to use copies for creating products, and to distribute copies
> > > *internally*, but it does not grant the right to distribute copies
> > > publically or to modify the file.
> > The perceived consensus in 2002 was that the license is DFSG-free, but
> > this is not my point.  (However, sometimes I think it's easier to
> > intepret the license itself than the result of the discussion about it
> > on this list.)
> Hmm, I've reviewed the archives and it looks like you're right here.

I see nothing approaching consensus.

Starting from:

and proceeding through the thread, we have:

Radovan Garabik		does not mention license freeness at all
Thomas Bushnell		"
Richard Braakman	questions license freeness
Branden Robinson	says it's not DFSG-free
Jim Penny		ridicules Branden and says license doesn't
			*have* to be DFSG-free
Branden Robinson	attempts to explain DFSG to Jim
Jim Penny		ridicules Branden, DFSG and Social Contract
Tim Dijkstra		non-Debian Developer proposes amending the DFSG
			and/or Social Contract
Giacomo Catenazzi	says we can live without standards in main
Tim Dijkstra		says we need this standard in main, regardless
			of the license terms
Richard Braakman	points out hazards of this standard's current
John Hasler		opines on copyrightability of Perl's version of
			this file
Emile van Bergen	opines on copyright policy
Richard Braakman	discusses British "copyrighted silence" case
Mark Brown		"
Paul Hampson		"
John Hasler		proposes alternative, non-copyrighted
			alternative to file in question
Emile van Bergen	more discussion of copyright scope
Richard Braakman	"
Emile van Bergen	"
Paul Hampson		"
John Hasler		discusses civil vs. criminal copyright laws
Hamish Moffatt		points out another work that may have a similar
			licensing restriction
Tim Dijkstra		says "it's OK" that standards docs be
Thomas Bushnell		points out that the issue isn't whether "it's
			OK", but whether it's DFSG-free or not
Brian May		wonders about DFSG-freeness of some Debian
			Project documents
Branden Robinson	attempts to answer Brian's questions
Bernhard R. Link	says Jim Penny is missing the point
Jim Penny		vigorously defends license, but explicitly
			claims it's DFSG-non-free
Nick Phillips		ridicules Jim Penny
David Starner		says all Unicode-aware apps would be derived
			works of UnicodeData.txt if the latter is
Branden Robinson	wonders about differing scopes of copyright in
			different countries

Moving on to December:


Bernhard R. Link	ridicules Jim Penny
Jim Penny		ridicules Bernhard R. Link, reiterates claim
			that license does not satisfy the DFSG
Branden Robinson	attempts to answer one of Jim Penny's
			(rhetorical?) questions, again about scope of
Craig Dickson		points out that lack of permission to make
			modified versions fails the DFSG
Branden Robinson	agrees with Craig
Thomas Bushnell		agrees with Craig; argues distinction between
			standards and works conforming to that standard
Florian Weimer		off-topic [I'm getting tired]
Jim Penny		argues with Nick, says again that
			UnicodeData.txt fails DFSG 3
Richard Braakman	argues with Jim about whether it's a good thing
			that UnicodeData.txt fails the DFSG
Jim Penny		says that DFSG-free standards are useless
Richard Braakman	argues with Jim
Thomas Bushnell		says we shouldn't distribute things without
Thomas Bushnell		discusses "null extraction"
Jim Penny		says Thomas is right but wrong
Thomas Bushnell		argues with Jim about "license laundering"
David Starner		off-topic
Jim Penny		off-topic
Jim Penny		says essentially that if Unicode is non-free,
			any Unicode based thing in main must be moved to
Thomas Bushnell		argues with Jim
Bernhard R. Link	argues with Jim
Thomas Bushnell		reinforces Bernhard
John Hasler		asks what the UnicodeData.txt file is for
Thomas Bushnell		attempts to answer John
David Starner		attempts to answer John
John Hasler		says UnicodeData.txt's copyright is unenforcible
John Hasler		another take on the above
John Hasler		another reply to Thomas
Jim Penny		points out real-world "derivations" of
Thomas Bushnell		accuses John of "raising FUD"
John Hasler		rebuts Thomas, questions DFSG-freeness of file
			at issue
Thomas Bushnell		rebuts John
Branden Robinson	discusses scope of copyright
Jim Penny		argues that Unicode is a creative work
Thomas Bushnell		charges that Jim's point is irrelevant
Jim Penny		"no, it's not"
Thomas Bushnell		"yes, it is"
Jim Penny		16kB worth of "no, it's not"
Steve Langasek		rebuts Jim on an offtopic point
Jim Penny		recalls an old argument of Manoj's; still
Thomas Bushnell		pleads for thread move to -legal
Jim Penny		"no"

Thread dies.

I see no consensus one way or the other, but I did not see a single
person defend the license as DFSG-free as written.

There were a couple of people, notably Jim Penny, who were quite loud
about their feelings that it didn't matter that the license was
non-free, standards documents deserve to be in main regardless.

Whether we should consciously flout Social Contract clause 1 is a
separate question.

I challenge you guys's interpretation of the historical record.

I see nothing strong enough to be called "consensus" either way.

I see no case made by anyone for the UnicodeData.txt license as (in the
form it was in at the time -- for all I know it's been changed since
then) DFSG-free.

It distresses me that two people got this so ass-backwards.

G. Branden Robinson                |     I am only good at complaining.
Debian GNU/Linux                   |     You don't want me near your code.
branden@debian.org                 |     -- Dan Jacobson
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |

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