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Proposal: changes to summary guidelines



Jeremy Hankins proposed guidelines for writing summaries in http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2004/03/msg00227.html

Following discussion on this list after recent unpleasantness, I would like to propose replacing them with:

1) Draft summaries should be marked clearly and invite further discussion. The same minimum discussion period applies as for a GR (currently given in s4.2 of the constitution). If there are serious objections to summarising, discussion should be allowed to continue and be summarised later. After discussion, a second draft should be posted and list members invited to send signed confirmation that it is a representative view.

2) The first sentence clearly states the full name of the licence, the version number and any software packaged or ITP'd for debian that is under that licence, with links as appropriate.

3) Anything regarded by a consensus of debian-legal as a possible problem meeting DFSG follows in list form, with reasons.

4) Each reason should refer explicitly to the freedom that is restricted, and how it is restricted. Link to relevant parts of the included licence and illustrative posts from debian-legal and elsewhere.

5) An optional section titled "Suggestions" follows the list of reasons. It includes d-l's suggestions on how to resolve the problem(s). If applicable, this should include any typographical, clarity, or other minor problems that debian-legal recommends fixing if a new version of the license is written. Again, link to illustrative posts.

6) On archive copies, the confirming signatories should be listed. The archiver should check signatures are good before listing them.

7) The full text of the license is included at the end.


Rationale:

Point 1 is rewritten to make summaries a bit more robust against misreporting of the type the MPL one had; 2 changed to discourage headline condemnations and to show why debian-legal is interested (merging the old 6) to counter accusations that we are a vigilante sqad; 3 changed to give more general information; 4 changed to refer back to the list (because I think summaries more useful if they give references); 5 only has the advice to link added; the new 6 aims to help readers verify whether a summary actually summarises consensus; 7 is unchanged.


Process:

There is no formal process to handle this proposal, I believe. Please tell me if otherwise.

I would welcome comments whether this would improve the summaries and *especially* what regular contributors and past summarisers think of it. If it's liked, I'll submit patches to http://www.debian.org/legal/licenses/ in 2 weeks and probably ask for help updating past summaries.

--
MJR/slef    My Opinion Only and not of any group I know
http://www.ttllp.co.uk/ for creative copyleft computing
"Matthew Garrett is quite the good sort of fellow, despite what
my liver is sure to say about him in [...] 40 years" -- branden



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