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Re: CeCILL again...

On Sun, Aug 22, 2004 at 09:29:13PM -0700, Steve Langasek wrote:
> On Sun, Aug 22, 2004 at 09:11:33PM -0400, Glenn Maynard wrote:
> > On Mon, Aug 23, 2004 at 02:26:00AM +0200, Nicolas CANIART wrote:
> > >   I've read with interest the thread[1] about the new CeCILL licence.
> > > But the debian community has not taken a clear position about it yet.
> > > Since I'd like to know if it is possible to package softwares under that
> > > licence for debian, I'd like to encourage any action which may lead to
> > > that.
> > The important bit seems to be:
> > In the event that the Modified or unmodified software includes a code
> > that is subject to the provisions of the GPL License, the Licensee is
> > authorized to redistribute the whole under the GPL License.
> > In the event that the Modified software includes a code that is subject
> > to the provisions of the GPL License, the Licensee is authorized to
> > redistribute the Modified software under the GPL License."
> > (Yes, the clause repeats itself; I have no idea why.)
> In the original French, the first sentence grants permission to *add*
> GPLed code to the work and distribute the combination under the
> terms of the GPL, and the second sentence grants others permission to
> continue distributing the combination under the GPL.
> > There are several other terms which are highly questionable, many of
> > which were brought up, but as long as this clause is working properly,
> > this is DFSG-free (as is any license that allows redistribution under
> > the GPL).
> My reading of Article 3 of CeCILL is that acceptance of this license is
> a condition of using the software.  (The original French version of the
> license doesn't seem to contradict this reading.)  As such, this seems
> to be a restriction on use, which I think is contrary to the DFSG.
> The clause allowing redistribution under the GPL only applies to
> *redistribution*, and does not seem to address the EULA aspect (since
> the GPL, of course, is not an EULA).  Though if we're distributing under
> the terms of the GPL, I suppose we needn't ask users to accept the
> license upon downloading, either?
> > The only standing issues that have been raised are:
> > 1: get clarification that "GPL" really does mean the "GNU General Public
> > License", and which version ("any version", "version 2 or later", "version
> > 2 only").  (They define several terms used in the license, but they
> > don't define "GPL");
> Agreed.
> > 2: make sure that the French language version of this clause has no
> > problems.  You'll need to find somebody who can read French legalese.
> The English translation of this section of the license appears to
> capture the original meaning accurately, with the above clarification
> regarding the apparent repetition.
> > This is also a more general issue: how do we deal with licenses that we
> > can't read, in the general case?  We assume that Debian users can read
> > English well enough to understand license grants, but we can't assume
> > they understand French or other languages, too, and neither d-legal
> > nor the ftpmasters can review such licenses properly--not just for
> > freeness, but for legal distribution.  Even if we have one or two
> > people who can read a given language fluently, the license still won't
> > receive anything approaching the level of scrutiny it would receive
> > with the whole list able to read it.
> Agreed; I think at a minimum we need either a legally-binding license in
> English, or an English translation vouched for by someone debian-legal
> subscribers are willing to trust, to be able to make any determination
> that a license is DFSG-free.

I disagree on that. We just need a subset of debian-legal speaking that
language, and if anyone else disagrees, well, they are free to learn the
language in question, like we were all forced to learn english to participate
in this :)


Sven Luther

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