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Re: Debian Legal summary of the X-Oz License

Ben Reser <ben@reser.org> writes:

> Because the language is so unclear, I'm going with the most logical
> interpretation I can come up with.

I think that this captures why I, at least, am a bit uncomfortable with
your analysis.  I haven't looked in any detail at the license, so I've
mostly stayed out of this discussion.  But I do think that as a matter
of method, the above is the wrong approach.

If language is unclear we have two options:

- Look only at the most restrictive interpretation
- or, if that's not free, seek clarification.

Judging by past experience, we can't always expect license authors to
take what is to us the most reasonable interpretation.  If in fact they
do, there should be no problem at all getting clarification.  But
pending clarification, we must assume the worst.

The principle at work here is that we have an obligation to our users,
not to the copyright holders.  I realize that copyright holders are
going to be frustrated with this approach because it may be hard for
them to judge where d-l stands on a license at times.  For this reason
it's worthwhile to work on improving communication with upstream
licensors.  But that must take second place to our obligation to make
sure that our users aren't surprised by un-free clauses in licenses.

Jeremy Hankins <nowan@nowan.org>
PGP fingerprint: 748F 4D16 538E 75D6 8333  9E10 D212 B5ED 37D0 0A03

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