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Re: RPSL and DFSG-compliance - choice of venue

Walter Landry wrote:
> Josh Triplett <josh.trip@verizon.net> wrote:
>>Steve McIntyre wrote:
>>>Josh Triplett writes:
>>>>With that in mind, what if we just amended the DFSG to include a
>>>>statement at the top explicitly acknowledging the "Guidelines"
>>>>interpretation, and pointing out that the DFSG is not an exhaustive list
>>>>of allowable license clauses?  That way, it is clearer that the DFSG
>>>>cannot be used as a checklist, and that general-consensus
>>>>interpretations about a license are valid.
>>>pass, or a simple majority of the small number of self-selecting
>>>interested posters to debian-legal, many of whom are not DDs? That's
>>>the point I've been trying to make for a long time here.
>>I would tend to say a supermajority consensus on debian-legal, with the
>>ability for the project as a whole to override such a decision with a
>>GR, based on sections 4.1.3 and 4.2.2 of the Debian Constitution.  I
>>suspect that such an ability would rarely be used, considering that it
>>would be easier to simply get the developers who would vote for such a
>>GR to help you argue your case on debian-legal.
> Debian-legal is a mailing list.  That is it.  The people with real
> power (ftp-master, RM, etc.) can decide to ignore debian-legal or not.
> I understand that ftp-master generally goes by debian-legal consensus,
> but they don't have to.  The former RM (Anthony Towns) recently did
> not (and caused quite an uproar because of it).

Good point.  So whatever method we use would be solely for the purposes
of making consensus clear to the decision-makers, and the project as a
whole would not be appealing our consensus, but the decisions based on
that consensus, which they can already do.

Nevertheless, I still believe the "Guidelines" approach should be
spelled out explicitly, to avoid further issues with people stating that
complaints not specifically following from a DFSG point are not
relevant.  Freeness cannot be reduced to a checklist, and we need to
make that clear.

>>Note also that debian-policy is basically self-selecting (albeit with a
>>more formal process), and it seems to work fine.
>>As for some debian-legal members not being developers :), that is an
>>issue to consider as well. On the one hand, many contributors to
>>debian-legal are not DDs. On the other hand, we don't really want
>>single-shot opinion mails from people uninterested in rational
>>discussion. I would tend to say that if it became necessary to adopt a
>>formal process, then it would have to be limited to DDs, while if the
>>process remained semi-informal like it is now, then all contributors
>>would probably be included in the informal "do we have consensus" check.
> It would be interesting to see how many of these "single-shot opinion
> mails from people uninterested in rational discussion" come from DD's
> and how many come from third parties.  In the three years I've been
> posting here, I've certainly seen plenty from both camps.

:)  Certainly true.  In this case, I was more thinking of the effect in
a more formal process of "stuffing the ballot box", by getting many
different people to send a mail "voting" in the process without actually
considering the issue.

However, given what you mention above, I don't think such a formal
process is necessary.

> In general, I find this complaining about debian-legal to be
> misplaced.  It is as if people started complaining that the french
> localization list came up with a french style guide without
> "consulting" anyone (oh, and they use this strange terminology called
> "French" to discuss things).  If you are interested in french style
> guides, then that is the obvious place to go.  Similarly, if you are
> interested in legal issues, then you go to debian-legal.

I strongly agree.  debian-legal is an open list, after all.

- Josh Triplett

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