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Re: GUADEC report

On Sat, Jul 10, 2004 at 02:07:08AM -0500, Branden Robinson wrote:
> Well, while you're all vigorously agreeing with each other, it would be
> nice if you guys would cite actual examples of debian-legal people "beating
> upstreams about the head and shoulders with ideology".

I never meant to imply that debian-legal was actually doing this, since I don't
have any examples (in no small part because I haven't gone looking for them)
but rather that the post I replied to was demonstrating the kind of arrogance
that debian-legal has been accused of. Sorry for being unclear. This isn't to
say this sort of arrogance doesn't go on in -legal, just that I don't know one
way or the other.

> As a subscriber to -legal for years now, my experience is quite different.
> On many occasions, upstream licensors have thanked us for working with them
> to come up with a better license.  There are even *recent* examples[1][2]
> of this.

This is always a good thing, and I've heard about one or two of these
occassions myself in the past.

> The most frequent and bitter acrimony on (and about) -legal seems to come
> not from upstream developers, but from Debian package maintainers who can't
> articulate why a license is DFSG-free beyond "because I said so!".  In many
> cases, this comes not from the maintainer of a package whose license is
> being studied, but from some third party Debian developer who seems enraged
> that questions are even being asked.[3]

The acrimony stimulated by the questioning of the mozilla license this late in
the sarge release process is no small matter. Getting rid of Netscape was a
major accomplishment, and to essentially move backwards by kicking mozilla in
to non-free is a scary thought, especially after we have worked for so long to
get sarge out the door. Similar issues apply with the firmware and any other
major piece of software you might care to bring up (I can't think of any others
off the top of my head). Debian needs to release, and the GR vote reflects that
this opinion is shared amongst the majority of DD's. I think the idea of
questioning mozilla's license, among others, triggers the fear that we will
never release because of the constant wrangingling over freeness. The fact that
this sort of wrangling is done based on tests (Chinese Dissident, etc) which
few are aware of makes the situation worse. 

 - David Nusinow

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