Re: Fwd: reiser4 non-free?
Someone posted the following on slashdot, presumably a debian someone:
Nobody's saying that your proprietary hardware will cease to work in
Debian. The packages will still exist; they'll just be in the
"non-free" section, separated out so that people who don't want any
non-free software can omit that section from their sources.list
file. Non-free packages are technically not part of Debian, but if
you have a non-free line in your sources.list, there's no difference
whatsoever in how you use them.
So hopefully, Debian can print out some nice warning that Reiser4 is not
plagiarizable, and if the user indicates that they still want to use it
anyway, they can go forward.
I find Debian's aggressive behavior toward myself, and especially
Richard Stallman and his GFDL, to be inappropriate and ungrateful, but I
also understand that Debian is striving to define its morality, and that
much of the world shares its rather asian attitude towards whether it is
acceptable to not credit others for their contributions to science. I do
not. I think the western approach of rigor in attribution has been of
great value in stimulating innovation over the centuries, and think it
should be applied to free software as much as it was to free science
I don't expect to convince Debian of this, especially not after your
vote that you recently had, but it would be pleasant if users who don't
mind attribution are able to select reiser4 if they want it.
Domenico Andreoli wrote:
we have bad news for your filesystems :(( it happens that some sections
of the license are not compatible with Debian Free Software Guidelines .
Even more grave is that something makes them also not suited for debian's
I'm sorry but if thing do not get fixed, this stuff won't ship with
next distribution release.
Here follows the message posted to debian-legal mailing list which
starts the thread.
----- Forwarded message from Sami Liedes <email@example.com> -----
Date: Sat, 24 Apr 2004 14:40:13 +0300
From: Sami Liedes <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cc: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: reiser4 non-free?
[Cc:'d to the reiser4progs maintainers. Please Cc: me when replying,
I'm not subscribed to -legal.]
There has previously been discussion at least in April 2003 on this
list about the freeness of reiserfs.
It seems a further "clarification" has been added to the license (GPL
+ clarifications) in both reiser4progs and kernel-patch-2.6-reiser4
since then. This is the section that has been modified:
Finally, nothing in this license shall be interpreted to allow you to
fail to fairly credit me, or to remove my credits such as by creating
a front end that hides my credits from the user or renaming mkreiser4
to mkyourcompanyfs or even just make_filesystem, without my
permission, unless you are an end user not redistributing to others.
If you have doubts about how to properly do that, or about what is
fair, ask. (Last I spoke with him Richard was contemplating how best
to address the fair crediting issue in the next GPL version.)
New here is the "such as by creating a front end that hides [...] or
even just make_filesystem". The controversy last year was created by
mkreiserfs printing an overly verbose (tens of lines of sponsor
credits and other non-licensing information) advertisement when
running from the command line and Mr. Reiser's assertion that removing
it violates the GPL.
To me, these new "clarifications" seem non-free. (IANADD, and I
believe the other IANA* goes without saying. :-)
Another section has been added after the above one:
Also, a clustering file system built to work on top of this file
system shall be considered a derivative work for the purposes of
interpreting the GPL license granted herein. Plugins are also to be
considered derivative works. Share code or pay money, we give you the
Surely a license cannot add anything to the set of derived works (if
the other work is not derived, the license obviously doesn't apply to
it and hence never gets to say it is derived; if it is, it is even
without the license saying so). However I believe -legal has not
considered text like this a problem before (I might be wrong though).
----- End forwarded message -----
-----[ Domenico Andreoli, aka cavok
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