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Re: Bug#915541: Removal of upstream "--will-cite" functionality has been reverted


since this issue becomes complex I'd like to bring up it at debian-legal
list for advise.

Kind regards


On Mon, Aug 30, 2021 at 08:08:26AM +0200, Ole Tange wrote:
> Ian Turner <vectro@vectro.org> wrote:
> > On 8/28/21 7:41 AM, Andreas Tille wrote:
> >>I updated the patch in Git[1] but did not yet activate it yet.  I'm fine
> >>with uploading parallel with the patch activated if you really think we
> >>should disrespect the wish of the author and insist on plain GPL text.
> >
> > My reading of bug 905674 is that the citation notice has been previously
> > judged to be incompatible with the DFSG and that's why it was removed.
> > Also ultimately Debian developers will have to make their own decision,
> > though if you are asking my personal opinion, I think it would be best to
> > remove it.
> The only license that gives you the right to change the source code is GPLv3.
> #905674 and #915541 refer to the wording of version 20141022. The
> current wording (20210722) has been cleared by Richard M. Stallman to
> be compatible with GPLv3. This is because the citation notice is not
> part of the license, but part of academic tradition (this was not
> clear in version 20141022).
> DFSG mentions "The license must not restrict anyone from making use of
> the program in a specific field of endeavor", and since the academic
> tradition is not part of the license and since the tradition does not
> "restrict anyone from making use of the program in a specific field of
> endeavor", it is hard to see, how you would argue the wording of
> version 20210722 does not adhere to DFSG (the wording in 20141022 was
> different, and it is this old wording that is the background for
> #905674 and referred in
> https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=915541#5).
> If your stance is based on reading #905674 I will encourage you to
> read the current wording, and argue how the current wording does not
> adhere to DFSG.
> If you disagree with Richard M. Stallman's interpretation of GPLv3 and
> feel the citation notice does not adhere to GPLv3, you should treat
> the software as if it is not available under GPLv3. And since GPLv3 is
> the only thing that would give you the right to change it, you would
> not be allowed to change the software.
> In other words: If you want to remove the citation notice to make the
> software compliant with your interpretation of GPLv3, you first have
> to accept that the software is already compliant with GPLv3, because
> nothing else gives you the right to change it. And if you accept this,
> you do not need to change it to make it compliant.
> Citations are what indirectly fund maintaining GNU Parallel (for
> details see: https://git.savannah.gnu.org/cgit/parallel.git/tree/doc/citation-notice-faq.txt).
> Before the citation notice was implemented hardly anyone cited GNU
> Parallel, and that would not have been sustainable in the long term.
> Therefore it is more important to keep the notice than to be included
> in different distributions. Specifically, it will be preferable to be
> moved from Debian main to Debian non-free over having the notice
> removed (and staying in main).
> In other words: It is preferable having fewer users, who all know they
> should cite, over having many users, who do not know they should cite.
> This is because long-term survival with funding is more important than
> short-term gains in popularity that can be achieved by being
> distributed as part of a distribution.
> If the goal had been to get more users, then the license would have
> been public domain.
> By removing the citation notice you are knowingly making it harder for
> me to justify spending time on developing GNU Parallel, and sending a
> signal to future developers that Debian does not care about their long
> term survival - only short term benefits to the project. I hope we can
> agree we want more free software in the future - not less.
> > I am among those not persuaded by Ole's arguments to the
> > contrary, in the specific context of the Debian project.
> If the revised wording (from version 20141022 to version 20210722)
> does not change your opinion, I feel the only compromise that is
> acceptable to all the active parties is to keep the citation notice
> even if this means moving the software from main to non-free.
> /Ole


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