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Re: Debian website's copyright and license suggestions?

On Sun, 16 Oct 2005 20:17:35 +0300 Tommi Vainikainen wrote:

> Hello members of debian-legal,


> It isn't currently well known that Debian website's license is Open
> Publication License, which has been judged to be non-free, and
> therefore needs to be changed.


> Currently web pages are "Copyright © 1997-2005 SPI" and license terms
> linking to Open Publication license are available at
> <URL: http://www.de.debian.org/license >. However SPI has not been
> collecting any paper work to transfer copyrights like FSF does, and
> probably many contributors do not even know about that their work is
> automatically copyrighted by SPI.
> So basically there is two questions:
> Does missing paperwork create a problem?

I think it does, unfortunately.

Each copyright holder should be tracked, contacted and asked for a
signed copyright assignment paper.
Then SPI will be able to relicense the website.

A less difficult solution is avoiding copyright assignements and simply
asking for a license change: each copyright holder should be tracked,
contacted and asked to agree with the relicensing.

The latter solution is (relatively) easier, since contributors must be
tracked and contacted anyway, but a permission to relicense can be
obtained via e-mail, while a copyright assignment must be done in a
written and signed (deadtree) paper, AFAIK.

> And what would be good license for Debians web pages? (This is about
> content, the scripts used in generation are GNU GPL or otherwise
> freely licensed.)

My recommendations are:

 if copyleft is desired

 Expat a.k.a. MIT
 if copyleft is not perceived as important and/or maximum license
 compatibility is desired

> Because copyright is currently claimed by SPI Inc, and SPI's board
> meeting is coming rather soon, I brought this issue to SPI's
> secretarys attention, but SPI board would appreciate some suggestion
> what they should decide about license change.

Good, thanks for working on this issue!

> I've Cc'ed the bug report about the issue, but Mail-followups does not
> contain bug report. Add it if needed, please.


    :-(   This Universe is buggy! Where's the Creator's BTS?   ;-)
  Francesco Poli                             GnuPG Key ID = DD6DFCF4
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