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Re: Maxmind GeoIP/Geolite license change

* On 6/15/20 10:51 PM, Michael Tremer wrote:
> As you will have noticed, I am not an expert on licenses and have picked CC BY-SA 4.0 because I believe Maxmind’s database was licensed under this before.

I'm assuming that your DB will not contain any content from Maxmind's DB? Hence,
you just strove to stay compatible with the original content?

> We can of course change the license and I am happy to take your suggestions. What I would like the license to be is the following:
> * it should be free for anyone to use but not possible to sell the database

That directly violates DFSG 6 ("No discrimination against fields of endeavor,
like commercial use.")

I understand your general intention, but it's a misguided one. It would
essentially make the database unredistributable if charging a fee for the
(re-)distribution, i.e., it couldn't be part of Debian media (CD-ROMs and the
like) for which a fee is charged (even if that fee only covers media and
distribution costs).

In Debian context, such a license would be considered non-free.

> * it would be nice to encourage users to give back to the project and help them to help us to improve the data wherever possible

Such encouragements should be part of, e.g., a README file, but not part of a
license. *Forcing* users to contribute back would likewise make a license
non-free for Debian usage (since that would fail the Desert Island test).

Fortunately, you said "encourage", so that would be optional and hence good. I'm
just pointing out that even ideas with good intentions (naturally improving a
database is a plus for any user) can lead to software or data becoming non-free.

Licenses and their implications can easily become a double-edged sword. :)


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