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

On Sun, May 23, 2004 at 09:18:26PM +0100, Andrew Suffield wrote:
> On Sat, May 22, 2004 at 10:19:59PM -0400, Glenn Maynard wrote:
> > 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
> > contributors."
> Yeah, well, I've always said this makes the 4-clause BSD license
> questionable.
> It's a rule of thumb anyway, not a bright-line test (the desert island
> test is a good example of a bright-line test). You're supposed to
> think when applying rules like this; they're just reference points.

Right, hence "overgeneralization", not "wrong".  This is a reasonable
guideline when writing licenses, but it doesn't seem relevant to DFSG-
freeness, in most cases.

(To be clear, the "obnoxious advertising clause" is a different issue.
All we're talking about here is "the following acknowledgement", which
is used in many more licenses than the 4-clause BSD, often in much less
obnoxious ways, such as "in supporting documentation".)

Glenn Maynard

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