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Re: license check for tqsllib

On Sat, Oct 18, 2003 at 01:51:45PM -0700, Don Armstrong wrote:
> On Sat, 18 Oct 2003, Hamish Moffatt wrote:
> > I want to package tqsllib and trustedqsl, which are a ham radio
> > application. However the DFSGness is not clear to me so I welcome
> > your comments. It appears to me to be similar to the BSD including
> > the advertising clause. How do we deal with that scenario these days?
> We've generally been interpreting such clauses as DFSG free[1], with
> caveats related to linking and noting that the advertising clause
> itself is just barely on the free side of the free<->non-free border.
> If possible, I'd appreciate if you can try to get upstream to follow
> the UC Regents lead and remove the advertising clause from their
> license, as it the copyright itself is generally enough advertisement.
> (There's an excellent analysis of it at
> http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/bsd.html) If you need any assistance, or
> if they have questions, feel free to refer them to -legal.
> Don Armstrong
> 1: I personally don't really like the advertising clause, and
> sometimes wish we could jettison all software that uses it. I think my
> view is a minority one, but it's possible that in the future more
> people will come forward with reasonable arguments for the
> non-freeness of software with such an advertising clause.

I don't *like* it (to the point that I'm willing to spend a large number of
my own hours, working to convince people to switch for a 3-clause variety),
but there is enough software in the world that falls under it, and enough
room to manuever in terms of whether it's even enforceable (or more than
GPL-incompatible in the most technical of senses, and compatible in RMS's
declaration of intent) that I'd really hate to see us drop everything that
uses it, much as I'd hate to see us drop everything that could potentially
have a patent on it - for much the same reason.

I find that, as a general rule, only very large institutions (which are
always wary of license changes) and less than open-minded individuals (with
whom it is difficult to discuss any such change reasonably) are actively
against such requests, when the problems are laid out and they are told
"this is actually an issue for us, not just theoretical".

(And in good news, last week the NetBSD team commited most of the
outstanding patches for license updates approved by authors; time to go do
the next round).
Joel Baker <fenton@debian.org>                                        ,''`.
Debian GNU NetBSD/i386 porter                                        : :' :
                                                                     `. `'

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