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Re: Bug#202723: perl-doc: Non-free manpage included

On Mon, 28 Jul 2003, Jakob Bohm wrote:
> This manpage (and a few others) are very important parts of the perl
> package documentation.  Separating it from perl is a non-option from
> the perspective of users.

It's already separated from perl into perl-doc. Furthermore, in this
case, the information in that documentation is pretty much supplanted
by perlref and associated documentation.

> DFSG 1 says that the freedoms need only apply in the context of
> larger diverse distributions, and need not apply to individual files
> or even packages when those files or packages are taken out of
> context. 

No. DFSG #1 deals with the freedom to distribute, _NOT_ the freedom to
modify. Any reading that construes it in this way conflicts with #3.

> At least this appears to be the only meaningful reading of the phrase
> "...as a component of an aggregate software distribution containing
> programs from several different sources."

It's not the only meaningfull one, as that phrase merely means that
you can legally and freely distribute the program as an agregate with
other programs. [Eg, you can do what Debian does, and actually
distribute the package as part of Debian.]

> The license on perlreftut and several other key perl manpages says
> that when not taken out of context, the file may be used under the
> Artistic license.

The problem is that this conflicts with DFSG #3 and coincidentaly, the
Artistic License itself, clause #3:

   3. You may otherwise modify your copy of this Package in any way,
   provided that you insert a prominent notice in each changed file
   stating how and when you changed that file, and provided that you
   do at least ONE of the following:

So it precludes the rather trivial modification of taking perlreftut
and embedding it in a distribution of documentation that is not perl.

> DFSG 10 says that the Artistic license can be assumed to meet the

It does, but we're not dealing with the Artistic license here... this
is an Artistic License with an additional rider with strange

It pretty clearly is non-free, and should probably be removed from
perl-doc. Ideally someone should contact the copyright holder and
request that they just release the code under the same terms as perl
itself (namely Artistic and GPL.) [Whoever does this should read the
previous discussion on -legal and -devel about proper copyright
clauses for dual licenses.]

Don Armstrong

"A one-question geek test. If you get the joke, you're a geek: Seen on
a California license plate on a VW Beetle: 'FEATURE'..."
 -- Joshua D. Wachs - Natural Intelligence, Inc.


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