Re: RFC: Debian License Information on www.debian.org
(-www should please cc me in reply - MFT is set.)
Frank Lichtenheld said on Fri, Apr 30, 2004 at 03:49:34AM +0200,:
> As some of you might have known/noticed, Andreas Barth and I worked
> on a way to present the findings of debian-legal on the Debian
> You can find these pages on http://www.debian.org/legal/licenses/
Good effort. But ...
1. where should somebody go to if (s)he wants to check if the FOO
license is DFSG compliant? Obviously, licenses which were in Debian
for ever (like the GNU GPL) will not be mentioned in these pages.
2. When I was new to Debian, I used to look for a page which contained
some info like what has been put up, and I certainly will appreciate
if the following suggestions are implemented.
Few lines at the top of the present page will help. Something like:-
There has been a plethora of licenses claiming to be `free' and
'open-source'. This proliferation has been causing confusion to
developers and users alike. While there is no rule like `all
packages license FOO' are eligible to be included in Debian', The
license under which a package is released is certainly considered
by Debian while deciding whether a package is eligible to be
included in the Debian archives.
Debian's policy about including packages can be found (link to
These site presents the opinion of the Debian project on how
certain licenses .... etc. (the present body)
(then, at the end)
Certain copyright holders however choose to place additional
restrictions, or strange interpretations on their licenses. Some
authors actually provide clarifications to licenses, permitting
what would not be allowed by the plain test of the license. Hence,
merely the fact that a <b>license</b> meets the DFSG does not
assure inclusion of a package in Debian. In other words, not only
the license, but also the software, its dependencies, and
authors'/ copyright holders' interpretation of the license, all
should comply with the Debian Free <b>Software</b> Guidelines.
/legal, /licenses/ or /copyright is the place where people will look
for this info. So, obviously above is to be included somewhere in
I am not a DD.
Mahesh T. Pai, LL.M.,
'NANDINI', S. R. M. Road,