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Re: data and software licence incompatabilities?

Dear Listmasters,

Francesco Poli has been a longtime subscriber to the debian-legal mailing
list.  He has quite extensive knowledge about licensing, and is often the
first person to answer inquiries about new licenses sent to the list.

However, he also consistently, repeatedly uses the list to tell people about
his personal positions on licenses where these disagree with the position
taken on behalf of the project by the Debian ftp team.  He has done this for
years, and for years people (including myself) have been asking him to stop.

Francesco Poli is not a Debian Developer.  His refusal to stop using
debian-legal as a soapbox for telling everyone who asks a question about
licenses about how he thinks the ftpmasters are wrong is an abuse of this
list which makes the list significantly less useful for its *intended*
purpose of examining new licenses, promulgating license information to new
packagers and upstreams, and discussing questions of the overall legality of
software in Debian.  By making his disagreement with the ftpmasters the
subject of any thread in which the pertinent licenses are discussed, he sows
confusion about the status of these licenses, whose status in Debian is
otherwise not at all ambiguous.

Since Francesco has made it clear that he has no intention to stop his
abusive use of debian-legal (see below) or even recognize why his behavior
is problematic, I am asking the listmasters to ban him from this mailing

Francesco, if you want to get Debian to *change its position* on licenses
where you think an error has been made, please start a discussion in an
appropriate forum such as debian-project and Cc: the ftp team.  debian-legal
is not and never has been the place to get changes made to the policy for
the ftp archive, and your continued use of the list for espousing your
*personal opinion* on questions that have been settled *for years* from the
project's perspective is actively harmful and must stop.

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

On Sat, Aug 31, 2013 at 03:46:32PM +0200, Francesco Poli wrote:
> On Tue, 27 Aug 2013 14:37:24 -0700 Steve Langasek wrote:

> [...]
> > You have a right to your own opinion.  You do *not* have a right to express
> > it *on this list*.  The purpose of this list is to provide guidance to
> > maintainers and upstreams regarding *Debian's* definition of free software,
> > as well as guidance regarding the *legality* of particular combinations of
> > works.  You using the list as a soapbox for your opinions about licenses
> > that you think Debian *shouldn't* accept is an abuse of the list.

> Sorry, but I think I am *not* abusing this list by just expressing my
> own opinions on the acceptability of licenses.

> The description of this list says [1]:
> "Discussions about legality issues such as copyrights, patents etc."

> [1] https://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/

> There cannot be *any* discussions, if, for each given topic, only *one*
> opinion is allowed to be expressed, and any other dissenting opinion is
> banned.

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