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

On Wed, May 19, 2004 at 03:18:05AM +0100, Andrew Suffield wrote:
> A clause which says you must credit the original author using the
> following text, is not okay.
> That one neatly and clearly classifies the vast majority of the
> licenses we are confronted with (it's the counterpart to "say WHAT you
> want, not HOW you want it" - licenses should be specifications, not
> solutions).

By the way, this is also a bit of an overgeneralization--lots of
licenses specify what text must be used, eg. the original 4-clause
BSD license:

"All advertising materials mentioning features or use of this software
must display the following acknowledgement: This product includes
software developed by the University of California, Berkeley and its

and the Apache license:

3. The end-user documentation included with the redistribution,
   if any, must include the following acknowledgment:
      "This product includes software developed by the
       Apache Software Foundation (http://www.apache.org/)."
   Alternately, this acknowledgment may appear in the software itself,
   if and wherever such third-party acknowledgments normally appear.

These are obnoxious; if the entirety of my documentation is in French, I
wouldn't want to have to have acknowledgements in English.  It isn't
unfree, though.  (This is probably mostly a case of people following the
bad example set by the above licenses ...)

(I don't know of any of these that require the text be output to the terminal.)


10:15pm glenn@zewt/2 [/usr/share/doc] grep -m 1 -i 'the following ack' */copyright | wc -l

Glenn Maynard

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