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Re: handling Mozilla with kid gloves [was: GUADEC report]

* Branden Robinson <branden@debian.org> [2004-07-19 15:10]:
> > Last time I suggested that -legal should engage in more active
> > arbitration with upstream
> Where precisely did you make this suggestion?

I had the discussion about the OLS in mind in which I asked whether
anyone had tried talking to the author of the license [0] and you
responded that "as a rule, the -legal mavens don't unilaterally
approach the authors of works or licenses".  You also added that the
"affected package maintainer is generally a person better suited to do
so" [1]. (I see now that I might have misinterpreted your description
of the status quo of -legal as your personal opinion.)

Anyway, I agree that package maintainers are often in a better
situation to talk to their upstreams about changing to another
license.  On the other hand, package maintainers often haven't
followed -legal and don't have the best arguments available; help from
-legal or summaries of licenses pointing out the problematic points
would be helpful here.

However, what I had in mind in my original message [0] was not talking
to upstream authors of software to change to another license but
talking to the authors of software licenses.  While it's good to have
upstream software change from a non-free to a DFSG free license, if
the license itself remains non-free other people might use it.  I feel
that it might be more effective to get the license itself changed.  I
realize that the author of a license might subscribe to a different
philosophy and might not be interested in changing it, but I think
explaining our point of view and philosophy to them and why we
consider the license problematic would be helpful.  Maybe we'll
achieve a change, at least in some cases.

[0] http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2003/10/msg00175.html
[1] http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2003/10/msg00195.html
Martin Michlmayr

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