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Re: Licenses for DebConf6

On Thu, Nov 10, 2005 at 07:49:36PM -0500, Glenn Maynard wrote:
> FYI, a possible response might be: "we care about freeness, but we pick
> our battle, and our battle is Debian main".  I care about starving children,
> but I don't donate the majority of every check to feed them: there are lots
> of good causes, and the fact that everybody has to pick and choose their
> causes doesn't mean people "don't care enough".  (That said, I don't agree
> with that response: it should be no big deal for people to freely license
> their papers, so they can be packaged later in Debian.  This isn't a big,
> difficult fight.)

Why fight at all? If having a free license is so obviously correct, why
force people to do it? If some people are uncomfortable with it, why
fight that?

My blog's licensed under the CC No-derivs/non-commerical license for much
the same reasons as most of RMS's writings aren't DFSG-free; but that's
fine -- I'm not trying to get them to become the basis of a developer
community or similar, and that's why I'm not bothered by not having
comments on my blog, either.

Likewise my list posts (like this one) don't have any explicit license,
just the implied license that evolves from knowingly posting to public
mailing lists -- which gives people the right to quote and archive them,
and the occassional fair use right, but certainly not enough to qualify
for main in the strictest sense.

My debbugs paper was licensed under the CC Attrib/ShareAlike license,
which is relatively free, but also not DFSG-free apparently. OTOH, it's
also already out of date.

Of course, "DFSG-free" isn't all the dc6 organisers are insisting on, but
the right to MIT/X11 recordings of presentations too -- not even giving
presenters the option to copyleft the recording of their presentation
for some reason.

BTW, a question: if you say "you must make your stuff DFSG-free",
aren't you inspiring debate from people who don't want to, or who aren't
comfortable with that, on why the DFSG isn't appropriate? If you made it
optional or encouraged instead of compulsory, wouldn't that encourage
debate on why the DFSG is good in the specific instances where people
choose not to use free licenses? Wouldn't that be better?

I'd prefer something like this:

 During and after the conference various materials will be made available
 to attendees and the general public; submission of a paper thus indicates
 permission to:

    * distribute verbatim copies and translations of the paper, slides
      and other materials provided by the presenter

    * distribute audio and video recordings of the presentation

 Presenters are encouraged to provide a specific license (preferably
 DFSG-free) under which the materials and presentation can be

Having the video/slide license appear as the first slide at each talk
while the introduction's happening might be amusing. But not if it's
just the BSD license each time :)


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