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Re: debian-legal review of licenses

Daniel Quinlan <quinlan@pathname.com> wrote:
>Better assurance that Debian will find a license acceptable when applied
>to software and a coordinated way for Debian to provide feedback on
>licenses under development means that Debian can have a greater impact
>on licenses under development and much less confusing and delayed
>feedback process.

If you send a new proposed license to debian-legal with a request that it be 
reviewed, and an email address to send comments to, you will get three or 
four debian-legal regulars responding with comments with days, and more if 
you wait longer.  This happened with the proposed revision of the Apache 
license.  Most of us are pretty good at specifying exactly what problems we 
see (if any) and even at proposing solutions.

If different people on the list disagree about whether something is a 
DFSG-freeness issue, then it does get a little hairy, admittedly, but if you 
go with the hardline nitpickers, you'll be safe.  (When a nitpicker is wrong, 
usually another nitpicker will correct and convince him.)  :-)

I guess the process is not very coordinated, but then most of Debian isn't 
very coordinated.  It is pretty efficient, though (lately, anyway -- I can't 
speak for more than a year ago).

>Maybe the place to start is just coordinated feedback in a timely and
>organized capacity.

Perhaps if you could identify more *specific* issues with debian-legal review 
of new licenses, it would be easier to solve them?

Perhaps some more-easily-found pointers to the various DFSG FAQs made during 
the GFDL flamewars might help upstream license developers -- they provide 
insight into the Debian interpretation of the DFSG.

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