[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Non-DDs in debian-legal

Ted T'so wrote:
> The d-l list has a problem which is shared by many Debian mailing
> lists (including debian-vote and debian-devel, and I'm sure it's not
> limited to them) which is that far too many people subscribe to the
> "last post wins" school of debate.

I've seen relatively little of this among the regular, careful-license-analysis 
types on debian-legal.

There are several issues on which we have a definite lack of consensus whether 
they're non-free or not: they're "is this too much of an infringment on your 
rights or not?" issues, whch should be settled politically, and perhaps GRs 
should be proposed on issues like this.  In regard to DFSG-freeness, examples are 
choice-of-venue clauses which apply to suits by the author against the user (not 
to be confused with choice-of-law clauses or choice-of-venue clauses which apply 
only to suits against the author); and clauses surrendering the right to trial by 
jury.  In *distributability*, the main contentious points are indemnification 

I think we're quite clear on what we disagree about in this kind of situation.  
In almost all of these cases, after discussion, pretty much everyone agrees that 
we've found clauses which *should not be* in the license.  The question of 
whether it's a "real problem" or merely a "minor problem" often ends up 
unresolved, but the desired changes are usually hashed out after much discussion 
and everyone agrees on what the license *ought* to look like.

I do see an obnoxious dismissiveness among a group I might call the "Oh, that's 
not a real problem, just dump it all in main" types, who seem to say that about 
every problem.  There's a fundamental philosophical disagreement. One group seems 
to think that we don't actually need licenses which explicitly grant us the 
permissions we want, and that we should err on the side of assuming that we have 
been granted permission to do something if we're not sure.

Understandably, debian-legal regulars mostly want licenses which actually 
legally guarantee the rights we want, and would like to err on the side of 
caution in determining whether a license has granted those permissions.  This is 
primarily a consequence of the rather frightening state of copyright law today. 

> If everyone participating on the list were mature and grown-up, this
> wouldn't be necessary.  And I would suspect that the call to restrict
> d-l to only DD's is a hope to exclude some of the more immature and
> less disciplined posters. 

The more immature and less disciplined posters?  Those are the ones who say 
"Debian-legal should be ignored, listen to me instead".  The regulars are 
generally very disciplined and mature, and treat licensing analysis like -- well,
the best analogy is debugging.

Nathanael Nerode <neroden@fastmail.fm>

Bush admitted to violating FISA and said he was proud of it.
So why isn't he in prison yet?...

Reply to: