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Re: DFSG conform OSI licenses

Soeren Sonnenburg <debian@nn7.de> wrote:
> On Sat, 2007-09-01 at 12:05 +0200, Marco d'Itri wrote:
> > The only official statements about DFSG compliance are made by the
> > ftpmasters.
> Well this is not too helpful. I would wish that licenses that are
> acceptable are all officially listed somewhere (here?
> http://www.debian.org/legal/licenses/ ). Also each rejected license
> should be documented (with the reasons why it is conflicting). Else it
> is hard to decide / understand whether a package should go to main.

Wishing ain't going to make it happen.  The following problems prevent it:

1. inspecting the debian/copyright file manually is the only reliable way
to detect which licence(s) apply to a package.  ISTR we were quite
conservative in compiling the legal/licenses/ list, only listing those
most common or clearest cases;

2. rejections are seldom that clear-cut and public;

3. *packages* are rejected, not *licenses*;

4. after all that, ftpmaster decisions can be surprising and sometimes
even direct 'why?' questions are not answered in public - the most recent
one I recall was about the MPL and Electronic Distribution Mechanisms
(which I've yet to act on.)

The easiest way to decide whether a package should go to main (as far
copyright is concerned) is:

1. find another package already in main under exactly the same licence or
licence combination - legal/licences/ may help you here and may be made
more useful for this soon, while a search of site:packages.debian.org
along with some unique string from the licence may also help now;

2. make sure you're not doing any of the REJECT-FAQ things.

> > It was after this that the DFSG-revisionists began to infest
> > debian-legal@ and started inventing new criteria for DFSG compliance.
> Is it know (ie. summarized somewhere) what these modifications are and
> with which DFSG items they conflict?

There are no modifications since 1.0 and Marco d'Itri is a
DFSG-revisionist.  For example, applying the DFSG to all of debian seems
to have been the intention since at least Bruce Perens, yet Marco d'Itri
seems to support allowing unmodifiable manual texts.

There are some tests discussed on -legal sometimes, but they are 'smoke
tests' that suggest possible problems, not proof of problems.  See Q.9
in the DFSG FAQ for some: http://people.debian.org/~bap/dfsg-faq

Hope that helps,
My Opinion Only: see http://people.debian.org/~mjr/
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