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Re: debian-legal review of licenses

* Daniel Quinlan <quinlan@pathname.com> [2004-01-24 11:17]:
> Specifically, I suggest:
>  1. a single place where review requests should be sent
>  2. review requests are posted to debian-legal for general discussion
>  3. an official entity, either a committee or a trusted individual who is
>     able to gauge consensus sufficiently effectively assembles
>     discussion, drafts a response which can be posted here for review
>     prior to returning it
>  4. response is returned within 30 days of submission
> It would be laughably tragic if Debian ends up deciding that future
> license revisions like Apache or any other free software project must
> end up in non-free.

I think that your suggestion definitely has merit; of course, it has
to be done in a way which is compatible with how -legal works.  So
far, most people who responded to your mail said your suggestion might
be incompatible with the way -legal works.  I think we might be able
to find a solution, though.

In general, I think that -legal does an excellent job of finding
issues in licenses.  However, so far, it hasn't put it an equal amount
of effort to communicate those findings to upstream authors of
licenses and to get them changed if possible.  I think that -legal
should be more active in this regard, and explicitly talk to people
creating licenses to make sure they get it right.  I asked Don
Armstrong a while ago to the author of OSL to summarize our concerns
to him.  I think this should be done more; of course, as said before,
it has to be done in the way -legal works.  Having an option to
"preapprove" a license is not possible, but I think that for example
it does have merit to have one person who summarized a discussion from
-legal in a coherent fashion and forwards that to upstream.  I can
imagine that many people cannot cope with the volume of mail they get
when mailing -legal directly; so it would be nice to be able to mail
-legal for comments, and get a condensed answer back.  And, as
mentioned before, I'll like -legal to be more proactive and talk to
upstream authors of licenses instead of waiting for them to contact

I'd like to hear what other people from -legal think.  I'm certainly
not going to appoint anyone without the consent of -legal since this
is just not the way it can work.  But perhaps we can find a solution

Martin Michlmayr

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