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Re: Debian: reiser4 non-DFSG-free. !?!

Another example:

reiser@linux:~/reiser4progs-0.5.3> /sbin/mkreiserfs -V
mkreiserfs 3.6.9 (2003 www.namesys.com)

A pair of credits:
Edward Shushkin wrote the encryption and compression file plugins, and the V3
journal relocation code.

Vladimir Demidov wrote the parser for sys_reiser4(), the V3 alpha port, part of the V3 journal relocation code, and helped Hans keep the business side of
things running.

Humberto Massa wrote:

@ 06/05/2004 15:29 : wrote Hans Reiser :

I just modified the Reiser4 license to be the following:

The Anti-Plagiarism License

Mr. Heiser,

I am a software developer, a paralegal, and a Debian user. Recently, I've participated in various technical discussions in debian-devel and in various licensing discussions in -legal. While I have sent you, both by way of the lists and personally, some questions about the reasoning of your licenses, you have up to the present moment refrained to answer me.

I stated in those e-mails that I am a great admirer of your work. I stated, also, that I agree with your concerns about plagiarism. I said, moreover, that I think that your work and the other reiser[34] contributors' work is important. Important to Debian. Important to the Linux community. Important to the Linux users. It's certainly important to me.

What I don't understand is _why_ are you doing this in such a beligerant manner. I repeat: please, let's work our differences out. Let us reach consensus and move forward.

Reading all the lists archives and bug reports, it appears to me that (at least part of) the problem is the following: some of your filesystem utilities displayed, unconditionally, a big (by some measure, but greater than 3 lines) attribution of credits. This was too much to some package maintainers, and they transferred said text to a file in the documentation directory for the package. You filed a bug, the maintainer gave you the shoulder, flames ensued, etc.

I don't agree with you that this is plagiarism. I'm sorry to say, but, in my dictionary (and in the jurisdiction I live in) plagiarism would be, for instance, remove *all* the credit attributions in the packages, or substituting them for some credits crediting the wrong person or persons. In this case, here in Brasil at least, the person commiting such acts would be subject to one to four years in jail and a fine.

The legal part of this remembers me of another problem, with your old "clarifications" over the GPL and with your new Anti-Plagiarism License: it's a GPL-incompatible license ... for a work (reiser4) which is derived from a GPL'd work (linux).

This pretty much renders your product (reiser4) undistributable by any person other than yourself. And, in principle, even by yourself. And I think this is a very big loss.

About the credits: if the credits attribution is too long to fit by the standards of the package's maintainer (who is the proper authority in the case, seemingly), what other solution there is? Just putting a line like:

"Many people contributed to this project. Please look: /usr/share/doc/reiserfsprogs/CREDITS."

is not enough? I mean, instead of the 20+ lines of the current display in dispute? As someone noticed in debian-legal, many people leave the theather before the credits roll. They know it's a (for instance) George Lucas' movie, but they won't know the name of the cameramen. Isn't it the same thing? If you want to see the credits, go and see them. It's not like Debian did make them disappear.

Now, I have only one question: is there a way you could back out in your opinion and return to the old licensing for your products, provided a consensus on moment and size of the credits attribution is reached? If the answer is yes, I volunteer to mediate the discussions between you and the affected package(s) maintainer(s).

Try running mkreiserfs and seeing if it really is all that bad, ok?

Thanks for caring.


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