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Re: DFSG-freeness of Apache Software Licenses

[I am not subscribed to license@apache.org.]

On Thu, Nov 13, 2003 at 02:07:06PM -0800, Roy T. Fielding wrote:
> Given the number of times Debian has violated our original Apache
> license by redistributing modified versions of Apache httpd as if
> they were the original, but actually containing security faults
> and installation incompatibilities introduced by your repackaging
> and addition of unreviewed "features", it would actually be a relief
> not to be distributed in Debian.

It was my understanding that the Apache upstream developers had always
been aware of how Debian managed its packages of Apache, and (at worst)
tolerated it.  If that is not the case, can you describe the nature of
your recent communications with our Apache package maintainers, and
whether you feel your concerns have been adequately addressed by them?

It is worth noting that our previous Apache package maintainer is no
longer active with the Debian Project, and that for some time after his
departure, the Apache packages languished a little without fully
attentive maintenance.  However, it's my understanding that this has not
been the case now for several months (at least).

I am confident that if your concerns with Debian's compliance with the
terms of the Apache Software License are clearly articulated (perhaps in
a new thread on the debian-legal mailing list), we will be able to
rectify the situation.

> However, the comments suggesting that the 2.0 license is not "free"
> have no basis in the DFSG.

I will not comment on the remainder of your message except to observe
that it is the Debian Project's prerogative and responsibility to
interpret the "Debian Free Software Guidelines".  That said, our
license-vetting process is completely public, and open to participation
by anyone who is interested.  One need not be a Debian Developer to to
make cogent arguments and be taken seriously.  If you feel that the
Debian Project is institutionally drifting away from interpretations of
the DFSG that are advantageous to your organization, you are perfectly
welcome to join our mailing list, or appoint a delegate to do so, and
attempt to influence our deliberations accordingly.  You may have
perspectives to share that have been under-represented to date.

G. Branden Robinson                |      A fundamentalist is someone who
Debian GNU/Linux                   |      hates sin more than he loves
branden@debian.org                 |      virtue.
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |      -- John H. Schaar

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