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Re: DFSG as Licence?

Michelle Konzack wrote:

> I was thinking to use the term:
> Licence: This software is under any Licence which complay
>          with the Debian Free Software Guidelines (DFSG).
> I am thinking, that this makes my standpoint more clear as telling
> users: "This software is under GPL vXX".  I fully aggree with the
> Debian philosophy and this is why I stay with it (even if it steals
> me sometimes th last nerv ;-) )
> What do you think about it?

IMO, there is something wrong with your statement.

The point is that it's very difficult to determine whether a license
complies with DFSG.

Suppose that someone created a new license which is against DFSG, but
s/he can still disclaim it complies with DFSG. You cannot decide that
hir license is against the DFSG, nor do the Debian community. If the
Debian community say a license is against DFSG, they only express their
opinion. And according to their opinion, they won't  add any software
solely under this license to Debian main. That's what they can do. But
they cannot enforce other people to agree with their opinion, nor can
they enforce others to obey their decision. Everyone may have their
different opinions, the Debian community never want to impose their
opinion on others. The decision made by the Debian community only
applies to the Debian Project.

Even if you take this matter to court, since the DFSG is a publicly
stated policy, rather than a legal statement, the case will become very

Therefore, IMO, you should not use a statement like "any Licence which
complay with the DFSG".

The licenses  below are currently found in Debian main:

GNU General Public License (common)
GNU Lesser General Public License (common)
GNU Library General Public License (common)
Modified BSD License (common)
Perl Artistic license (common)
Apache License
MIT/X11-style licenses
zlib-style licenses
LaTeX Project Public License
Python Software Foundation License
Ruby's License
PHP License
W3C Software Notice and License
OpenSSL License
Sleepycat License
Common UNIX Printing System License Agreement
vhf Public License
"No problem Bugroff" license

You can choose one or more license from them. (Personally, I think use
Modified BSD is enough, because it is compatible with many licenses
listed above.)

If someone want to use other licenses which is not compatible with any
license listed above to distribute your software, the license probably
doesn't comply with the DFSG. Of course, it is possible that the license
they want to use does comply with the DFSG. However, I think few people
will need to use such licenses. If they do, they always can ask for your

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