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Summaries in general, was: Summary Update: MPL ...

On 2004-06-23 19:12:41 +0100 Andrew Suffield <asuffield@debian.org> wrote:

We've got a lot of licenses like this. This is why we review packages,
not licenses.

I see. Were you absent from the discussion earlier this year about whether these summaries would be useful? Now that we've seen them in action a few times, I feel that they are doing more harm than good because they always seem to include "this is a free licence" or "this is a non-free licence". Too much is being focused on these binary distinctions and the interesting part is whether the ITP'd or P'd software is free or non-free, really.

Summary authors, is it possible to refine them so that we don't have this sort of outright statement? It would seem more helpful to summarise to the licence author "here are debian-legal's concerns about this licence" than "we have decided you are wrong".

Further, should we stop summarising when the licence author has not asked for our opinion and go back to the old rough consensus method for handling packages? Maybe we could keep a link-heavy "collected advice for maintainers" licence list based on our discussions (on wiki.debian.net), but that was not the original suggested scope for these summaries and I don't think they can do both well.

Finally, it seems important for the discussion to be allowed time to settle. The previous MPL draft summary was posted only 2 days after the last thread began. That's not long enough. Copyright problems are important, but the servers don't catch fire if we think about them awhile.

Awaiting replies with interest,
My Opinion Only and possibly not of any group I know.
http://www.ttllp.co.uk/ for creative copyleft computing

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