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Authority of debian-legal (was: Desert island test)

Magnus Holmgren <holmgren@lysator.liu.se> writes:

> Do you see then, since no ordinary man can compel the Debian project
> to do *anything*

That's not true. The Debian project is compelled by "ordinary men" to
conform to local laws, for example. But that's not relevant to the
compulsion mentioned in DFSG FAQ #6, since local laws don't (AFAIK)
compel anyone to "accept that my license is free".

> that the question and its answer are quite pointless?

I don't think they're pointless. The question has, in various forms,
been the apparent attitude of many over the years who have works under
non-free licenses.

> Perhaps someone simply confused the somewhat similar words "compel"
> and "convince"?

The meanings of those words are markedly different, and the difference
has a direct bearing. It would take someone with a pretty weak grasp
of English to think they are somewhat similar.

That's not saying it didn't happen, but I think it's an unlikely

> How would that substitution change your answer?

I'd have to ask what particular question is being posed.

> What if the question was rephrased as "Is there any way for me to
> get a second opinion?" or "Is debian-legal really the final
> authority or who takes the definitive decision?"

That would be a separate, pretty unrelated question.

A second opinion can be had from anyone. If it's not from a qualified
lawyer familiar with the details of the specific case and local
jurisdiction, then it's worth the same price of entry as debian-legal.

The latter formulation seems already covered by question 2:

    Q: What is debian-legal?

    A: Debian-legal is a Debian mailing list for the discussion of
    legal questions related to Debian …

The mailing list is explicitly described as "for the discussion of
legal questions". I'm rather incredulous if you think someone could
confuse such a description with "is the final authority or who takes
the definitive decision [on legal questions]", when that implication
is nowhere in the FAQ.

 \        "My house is made out of balsa wood, so when I want to scare |
  `\     the neighborhood kids I lift it over my head and tell them to |
_o__)  get out of my yard or I'll throw it at them."  -- Steven Wright |
Ben Finney

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