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Re: Draft Debian-legal summary of the LGPL

On Wed, May 12, 2004 at 03:59:56AM -0500, Branden Robinson wrote:
> On Tue, May 11, 2004 at 10:06:31PM +0200, Andreas Barth wrote:
> > Hi,
> > 
> > though LGPL is quite OLD, AFAICS there is no summary. To put it on the
> > web pages, I wrote one:
> > 
> > Debian-legal has concluded that the LGPL (Library Gnu Public License)
> > v2 and LGPL (Lesser Gnu Public License) v2.1 is a DFSG-free license.
> > 
> > The licenses are included on every debian system in
> > /usr/share/common-licenses, so I ommited the full reference
> I think your intentions are noble, but I don't think we should do this.
> Not because the LGPL doesn't deserve a summary, but because it hasn't
> been done right.  The entire license needs to be posted and carefully
> scrutinized.
> I would suggest that we postpone such an exercise until after the GNU
> FDL situation is resolved.
> Furthermore, it might be wise if we only attempt to adjudicate licenses
> that are brought to us for consideration.  I'm not sure we should go on
> hunts for licenses to audit ourselves; to do so might damage the
> impression of impartiality that we should attempt to cultivate and live
> up to.

Besides, we adjudicate the application of licenses, not licenses in
general, and I'm pretty sure you can apply the LGPL in a non-free
manner; it's a fairly slippery bastard. You might be able to do it
with the GPL, but I'm not so sure about that (the result would
probably be entirely non-distributable, while the LGPL leaves enough
holes to wriggle out of).

Some licenses are just too complicated for a "yes" or "no" answer; at
best they get a "sometimes", or even a "maybe".

  .''`.  ** Debian GNU/Linux ** | Andrew Suffield
 : :' :  http://www.debian.org/ |
 `. `'                          |
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