Re: Hacking License
On Wed, 12 Dec 2018 at 16:06, Ian Jackson
> Giacomo Tesio writes ("Re: Hacking License"):
> > If the problem is not in the text of the license, how can I fix it?
> In the short term, you can add a clear compatibility clause that
> allows relicensing as a well-known existing licence, or you can use an
> existing licence.
This is a suggestion to fix a problem in the license.
Unfortunately such fix would completely weaken the Hacking License too much.
> In the longer term you can engage with the copyleft community - in
> fora other than debian-legal - to move the wider community's centre of
> opinion in your preferred direction.
I already have an operating system to write! :-)
This is not an excuse: the operating system itself will move the
"community's centre of opinion".
But as "a voice of one calling in the wilderness", I wouldn't be much effective.
> Or you can try to find some DD who has the time and inclination to
> - sponsor your package at a technical level
> - ignore or disagree with recommendations from people like me
> - review your licence in detail
> - engage with you and with Debian ftpmaster to help resolve
> whatever issues they and you and ftpmaster identify
Now that you describe the process, I recall that in 2002 I tried it
(with no success, I can't recall why) for a small game.
> For the avoidance of any doubt, I think I am probably not opposed to
> your political goals. I may well even support them. That seems
> likely. Maybe they are even important enough to justify a new
> licence, but I think they don't justify trying to go it alone in the
> way you seem to be doing.
There are several reasons why I'm "trying to go it alone".
Some have been outlined in the response to Simon McVittie.
At the end of the day, being alone has several big advantages:
- I'm free
- I've nothing to loose
- I cannot do much harm if I fail
- I can do a lot of good if I succeed
But on the specific matter of the Hacking License, I obviously welcome
help and suggestions.
> > However, if you express the consensus in Debian, I suggest to fix the
> > texts at https://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/ and at
> > https://people.debian.org/~bap/dfsg-faq so that it more clearly
> > express the intents, boundaries and goals of this mailing list.
> As for the first link, it says only
> | Copyright, licensing and patent issues
> | Discussions about legality issues such as copyrights, patents etc.
> which IMO accurately describes the scope of the list within Debian.
I'd say that we are talking about licensing issues, in this thread.
> I'm sorry that not all of Debian's practices, including our
> disinclination to help with the detailed review and drafting of
> bespoke licences, are documented. If this were to be documented it
> would be in the Developers' Reference, probably, and certainly not the
> mailing list description.
However the current documentation look somewhat misleading or very outdated.
https://www.debian.org/legal/licenses/ for example says
"debian-legal is advisory. The actual decision-makers are the
ftpmasters and the package maintainers. However, if one
cannot convince most of the generally liberal debian-legal
contributors, it's probably not clear that the software follows
That sentence, together with the DFSG FAQ linked from there was what
directed me here.
To be honest, I've never considered the Hacking License a draft, but I
was open to corrections that could have been pointed out here.
On the other hand, I really thought this was the right place to
discuss the compatibility of a license with Debian vision of free
And actually I received some feedback on this regard (that I tried to address).
I suppose that lack of further objections about the Debian
compatibility of the Hacking License doesn't mean that I convinced
most of debian-legal contributors, but that on the contrary they agree
with you and that no software under the Hacking License should go in
Debian, whatever is actually written in the license itself.
That's why I asked "If the problem is not in the text of the license,
how can I fix it?" because, at times, some exchanges seem
(legitimate!) political opinions about the opportunity of a license
instead of problems with this specific license.
That's why I supposed that we lack a forth test that could clearly
exclude the Hacking License.
Some how, I think this unstated insight of Debian Developers should be
> The second link is someone's personal web page over which I have no
> control, and over which Debian exercises no control other than to
> avoid things like Code of Conduct breaches. It has the word `DRAFT'
> in the page title. If you have read anywhere that it is in any way
> official, please let me know and I will arrange to have its status
> made clearer.
That link is suggested at the end of
https://www.debian.org/legal/licenses/ (search for DFSG FAQ).
The section is titled "Work in Progress" but the contents of the FAQ
looked pretty coherent with the rest of
https://www.debian.org/legal/licenses/ and with my understanding of
this mailing list after a quick look at the archives.