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Re: Sorry, no more RC bugs for non-free data in main (was: Bug#385115: chromium-data: Unclear license for some files)

On Wed, Aug 30, 2006 at 12:00:55PM +0200, Roberto Gordo Saez wrote:

> On 8/30/06, Steve Langasek <vorlon@debian.org> wrote:
> >For all you've said up to this point, the sound files being used could be 
> >in
> >the public domain; in which case the only controlling copyright is that
> >governing the packaging and support files.

> OK, so I take files from the web and put them on packages. They could
> be in public domain, so there is no problem unless someone find that
> they are not, uh?

No, if *you* take files from the web and don't know that they're in the
public domain, and/or don't know what license they're under, it would be
wrong for you to put them in a Debian package and redistribute them.

If an *upstream* has taken files from the web and integrated them in their
software, and furthermore posted a statement that the files are available
under a particular license, we should assume the upstream is telling the
truth unless we have evidence to the contrary.

> >That they are unknown to *you* is not grounds for an RC bug claiming that
> >upstream is distributing files illegally.

> And they are unknown to upstream. AFAIK, upstream does never claim
> that those files are under artistic license nor under public domain.
> It is not me. Why it is this so difficult to understand?

http://www.reptilelabour.com/software/chromium/about.htm asserts:

 "Chromium B.S.U. is available under terms of the Artistic License"

Is chromium-data not part of "Chromium B.S.U."?  If it is, then this is an
upstream statement about the license of those files.  Do you have another
statement from upstream that contradicts this?

> >If you're going to claim that the license on these sounds is not what
> >upstream and the packaging claim it is, the burden of proof lies with you.

> Again, upstream does not claim he is copyright holder, and license for
> them is not specified. He only claims that he took the files from
> other sources. Even if the files are free, credit should be provided,
> and the origin clarified.

If the files are in the public domain, this is not required.  We don't
*know* whether (most of) the files are in the public domain.  Only things
that we know are license violations should be treated as release-critical.

> If most people here thinks that we should not care about this, I would
> prefer that guidelines to be updated in consequence, so people who
> really care about this kind of copyright issues would know before
> choosing to use Debian. So Debian will remain 100% free unless we got
> sort of time for the next release, or something taken from the web is
> public domain unless someone demonstrate that it is not...

We all care about freedom and about making sure the software we distribute
is legal, but that doesn't mean we should delay the release every time
someone suggests without evidence that a package *may* contain a copyright

> So do not expect myself to give any more of my time to this. And you
> can downgrade the priority again or even close the bug if you want, I
> do not mind anymore.

It wouldn't be appropriate to downgrade this bug; you've correctly pointed
out that at least one of the sound files in this package appears to be
copyrighted and distributed without a license, and that's a bug that should
be fixed.  If you know of other files in the package that are improperly
licensed, please include information about them as well!  However, even if
we find some improperly licensed files in the package, it's not reasonable
to require a full license audit of the package as a condition for releasing,
because the vast majority of packages in Debian have no more guarantee of
license correctness than this one does.

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
vorlon@debian.org                                   http://www.debian.org/

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