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Re: discussion with the FSF: GPLv3, GFDL, Nexenta

On Tue, 22 May 2007 13:30:24 +0200 Sam Hocevar wrote:

>    [Cc:ing -legal, but please try to follow-up on only one list]

Choosing debian-legal...

>    I am having a chat tonight with people from the FSF.

You could have announced this earlier, then.  :-(

> Despite the
> inevitable disagreements between Debian and the FSF, I am willing to
> cooperate in a constructive manner on as many topic as possible. Here
> are the topics we'll be discussing so far:
>     1. The GPLv3: the latest draft did not raise major objections from
>  -legal

I don't think that this is an accurate description of the discussion.
See  http://lists.debian.org/msgid-search/euei2j$qqc$1@sea.gmane.org

My comments can be also read here:

>  and despite its concerns with the strategies developed in some
>  sections, Debian does consider it DFSG-free.

I do not remember any conclusion in this direction.
Draft3 is better than the horrors of the previous drafts, but I am
currently still *unsatisfied*.

>  Debian will however not
>  push for its adoption, mainly because we still have much software
>  that is GPLv2-only in the distribution. We will discuss what role
>  Debian could play in the official launch of the licence.

I think it would have been better to discuss how the FSF can fix the
remaining issues of the GPLv3-draft3.

>     2. The GFDL: the Debian project does not consider the GFDL a free
>  software licence as long as the work includes invariant sections.

Or front cover texts, or back cover texts, or dedications, or any other
unmodifiable parts whose name I cannot remember now.

>  We
>  decided (through a GR) that it was otherwise free, mainly because we
>  expected the FSF to fix the (in our opinion) badly worded DRM clause.

I would love to have a telepathy device, but unfortunately I don't.
How can you know the actual reasons why people voted the way they did
for GR-2006-001?  I even asked (on debian-vote) to the last DPL
candidates to explain the rationale behind their ballots for GR-2006-001
and only some of them (including you) answered: that makes some 4 or 5
explanations; what about the rest of the Debian Developers who voted or
didn't vote for that GR?

>  It is also not a licence we are willing to actively promote and we
>  recommend double-licensing GFDL works under an additional free
>  software licence such as the GPL.

I would be really surprised if Debian actively promoted the GFDL...
The winning option of GR-2006-001, though being absurd and ill-phrased,
stated quite clearly that the GFDL has issues and should be recommended

>     3. Nexenta: Despite their incompatibility, Debian accepts both the
>  CDDL and GPLv2 as valid free software licences

When was the CDDL accepted as a license that meets the DFSG?!?
I can remember some discussion where no real consensus was reached.
as a summary.

>  and would welcome any
>  solution to the distribution of a Debian system based on OpenSolaris.

The simplest solution is persuading Sun to relicense (or dual-license)
OpenSolaris under a GPLv2-compatible license.
Sun publicly claimed to have understood the importance of
GPL-compatibility when they started to release their Java implementation
under the GPLv2: I don't see a valid reason that could block such a
relicensing or dual-licensing.

>  I have summarised Debian's concerns about the legality of
>  distributing a system containing a CDDL libc and GPLv2 software such
>  as Nexenta, and the FSF legal team is working on the issue and is
>  going to answer us (it will take several weeks, though).
>    The timeframe is short but if you have additional topics to suggest
> I'll gladly bring them up. Also please correct me if what I have
> gathered does not seem to reflect the project's opinion.

I don't think that what you gathered reflects debian-legal contributors'
opinions.  And I am disappointed that you contacted us so late.  :-(

 Need to read a Debian testing installation walk-through?
..................................................... Francesco Poli .
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