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Re: Request for GR: clarifying the license text licensing / freeness issue

On Sun, Apr 15, 2007 at 05:50:36PM -0400, Nathanael Nerode wrote:
> This is a proposed text for a GR.  I can't actually propose a GR (not a 
> DD), so I request that someone else who cares propose it or a similar 
> proposal.
> ---begin proposed GR---
> Resolved:
> That the DFSG shall be amended, by inserting at the end of clause 3, in italics:
> (There is a special exception for the license texts and similar legal 
> documents associated with works in Debian; modifications and derived 
> works of these legal texts do not need to be allowed.  This is a 
> compromise: the Debian group encourages authors of legal texts to 
> allow derived works.)
> Rationale:
> Debian is not in the business of shipping license texts; Debian does
> so only because this is necessary in order to ship other material.  Many
> of these license texts do not have licenses allowing the 
> creation of derivative license texts; the GPL is a prominent example.  
> Without this exception, if the DFSG were followed literally, most 
> license texts could not be shipped in Debian and would have to be 
> shipped alongside Debian instead, which would be very annoying.
> Historically, this exception has been an unwritten assumption; in most 
> discussions, this exception has been agreed on by everyone involved.  

If that is the case, then why would it be necessary to write this down
in the DFSG? Personally, I don't think we need to go through all this
effort just so that nutcases can no longer use "But look, we do this for
license texts, too" as an argument. They're nutcases, anyway.

Fun will now commence
  -- Seven Of Nine, "Ashes to Ashes", stardate 53679.4

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