[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: DFSG#10 [was: Re: Draft Debian-legal summary of the LGPL]

On Fri, 21 May 2004, Steve Langasek wrote:
>> 8 bears a lot of resemblance to "don't break the law" clauses, which
>> used to be considered DFSG free, but which now are increasingly not.
>By *whom*?  I haven't seen anyone offer a solid argument that "don't
>break the law" clauses are acceptable, I don't believe there's
>consensus on d-legal that they should be acceptable, and I haven't seen
>any cases of them actually being accepted into main.  Please provide
>references to relevant mailing list discussions if I've overlooked

It was my understanding that packages like bind, X11, etc.'s contain export control clauses which can be considered 'don't break the law' clauses, for instance in the discussion following http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2004/04/msg00241.html .

The fact that they're in main suggests that this kind of clause either [was considered acceptable at a previous time|is considered acceptable for export control laws|was overlooked when putting these packages in main|is acceptable for 'crucial' packages*].

Looking at BIND, this part of the license is for DNSSafe, a non-free component that (I believe) is not actually included in the version distributed by Debian. (http://old.lwn.net/1999/0909/). X11 contains an export clause in the 'GLX Public License'; This has also turned up on debian-legal (http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2003/09/msg00847.html), and I believe the code is being removed.

AFAICT, most of the export clauses in main are simply the result of them being overlooked at the time of packaging, and after being discussed on debian-legal, the code is declared non-free and removed from main.

Apologies for suggesting that debian-legal considered these clauses to be acceptable . I certainly don't intend to suggest that they are DFSG free, merely that such code has been in main at some point (suggesting that at least the package maintainer considered the code to be DFSG free).

* I'm not trying to be facetious; I'd consider things like Linux, the GNU toolchain, etc. to be crucial packages, and worth making an exception for, should the GPL turn out to be non-free.

Lewis Jardine

Reply to: