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Re: Proposal: changes to summary guidelines

MJ Ray wrote:

> 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.

Disputed points should also be listed.  "Some people think:... but others
disagree, saying:..."
It's only worth listing them if there are meaningful numbers of people on
both sides (say, at least 3 each :-)

Given the way debian-legal works, and the fact that people can't even agree
on whether a disputed license should be considered free or non-free by
default, I think this is a requirement to adequately represent the
debian-legal process.  Particularly on difficult licenses.

> 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.

Do it.

There are none so blind as those who will not see.

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