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Re: Consensus about the Academic Free License ("AFL") v3.0

Le Wed, Jun 10, 2015 at 11:48:19PM +0200, Francesco Poli a écrit :
> Hello debian-legal regulars,
> I would need to ask your consensus opinion on the non-freeness of the
> Academic Free License ("AFL") v3.0.

Hi Francesco,

I think that there is a broad consensus to accept the AFL as Free license,
in Debian, the OSI, Fedora, the FSF, etc.

Its wording is often poorly chosen, but I think that the consensus is to
conclude in favor of the Free interpretation.

Here are a few comments about the license.

 - point 3) is poorly worded, but assuming it is well-intented, it is Free.

 - regarding points 5) and 9), the FSF notes that the AFL has clause similar to one of
   the Open Software License that "requires distributors to try to obtain explicit
   assent to the license" (<http://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.en.html#OSLRant>).
   This is easy to infringe, but this is not forbidden by the DFSG (which is why
   we tolerate advertisement clauses, which are also easy to infringe).

 - The "Attribution Notice" sounds a bit like an invariant section, but it is also
   very similar to the NOTICE file from the Apache License, which is Free.

Altogether, I think that #689919 should stay closed, although it would be great
of course if the Subversion authors would manage to elimiate this license from
their sources, because this license is not a good example to follow.

Have a nice day,


Charles Plessy
Tsurumi, Kanagawa, Japan

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