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Re: debian-legal review of licenses

Scripsit "Joe Moore" <joemoore@iegrec.org>
> Henning Makholm said:

> > D. When you volunteer to summarize, select a random 6-digit integer
> >    as a "priority" and write it in your email. If several people
> >    volunteer without seeing each other volunteering, the one with the
> >    highest number wins the responsibility. (This will break the tie
> >    without wasting more messages on the matter).

> Perhaps instead of a random number requirement, just have those people that
> volunteer to make the summary between (A) and (E) work out off-list which of
> the volunteers will write the summary?  (Especially since such volunteer
> collisions are probably fairly rare)

My assumption was that volunteer collssions will probably be common;
basically I'm assuming that many people will end their initial
analysis with "Oh, and by the way, I'm willing to do the summary job
in this case".

The distribution of list emails is not always fast (for reasons beyond
our control), and it also takes time to write the analysis itself, so
it is entirely probable that several persons will send off analyses to
the list without even knowing that somebody else has also done so. In
fact this seem to be common in the usual case where the license is
easy to analyse. Then coordinating off-list would be more work than
actually reading through the discussion and writing a summary ("Five
people replied, all saying that this is clearly free. Nobody opposed
that conclusion").

> > I don't see any need for presenting the summary for approval to d-l
> > before sending it to the author. It's not that hard to discover either
> > that there's consensus for free or non-free, or that there is no
> > consensus.

> Depending on the depth of the discussion, it might be nice (although not
> required) for the volunteer drafters to send a draft summary to d-l before
> sending it on to upstream.

Well, if it is unclear what the consensus is, then it is of course
appropriate to send a draft. But (still optimizing for the common
case), we don't want to clutter the list with mandatory mails saying

|  Is it okay with y'all if I tell this upstream author that his
|  license is perfectly free, being the BSD licence without
|  advertising clause, verbatim, as 5 people have already remarked?

> Also, noting that "there is no clear consensus on d-l about the
> DFSG-freeness of clause X" would be a valuable service.

Absolutely. It should be understood that that could be a perfectly
good summary of the discussion.

> Especially if that statement can be followed by "However, the
> following small change would maintain what appears to be your intent
> of that clause, and would be more clearly DFSG-free".


Henning Makholm            "We can hope that this serious deficiency will be
                      remedied in the final version of BibTeX, 1.0, which is
            expected to appear when the LaTeX 3.0 development is completed."

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