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Re: middleman software license conflicts with OpenSSL

On Wed, May 12, 2004 at 11:42:42PM +0200, Cédric Delfosse wrote:
> There is two possible solutions to solve this problem:
>  - your software must be rewritten to use GNUTLS instead of OpenSSL,
>  - or, your license must add an exception to the GPL which allows
> linking with OpenSSL.

This wording is too strong.  Please moderate it a bit in future
correspondence with upstream authors and copyright holders.

* There may be other solutions you haven't thought of.  The debian-legal
  mailing list is always available as a resource to Debian package
  maintainers and upstream authors and copyright holders to explore what
  those alternatives might be.

* The author or copyright holder's software or license "must" not do
  anything in particular at all.  The Debian Project does not present
  ultimatums to anyone.  Telling people what they "must" do sounds very
  much like that.  At the very least, it creates confusion, and at the
  most, will provoke a hostile reaction and damage Debian's reputation.

The Debian Project packages and provides software to its users only as
countenanced by the authors and/or copyright holders of that software.
Except under unusual circumstances[1], people have no obligation to make
anything available to us, or write their software or license in any
particular way.

We respect the right of software developers to write whatever code they
please, however they please.  We respect the right of copyright holders
to extend license of their exclusive rights under copyright laws to
third parties under whatever circumstances they choose within the law.

It may occasionally happen that we elect not to distribute a work due to
the way it or its license is written, but we are not in a position to
make demands of people, and should not give the impression that we are.

In the instant case, unlicensed usage of the GPLed Middleman softare
with the OpenSSL library is a problem the copyright holders in Middleman
have to pursue.  We, the Debian Project, are not their agents in this

Debian will not knowingly distribute Middleman in contravention of its
license.  We would like to distribute Middleman under the terms of its
license, but have found we cannot do so.  We look forward to working
with Middleman's author(s) and copyright holder(s) to rectify this

[1] e.g., if we are provided binaries of GPLed source code

G. Branden Robinson                |        Beware of and eschew pompous
Debian GNU/Linux                   |        prolixity.
branden@debian.org                 |        -- Charles A. Beardsley
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |

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