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Lisence and section

Dear Christian Holm Christensen,

> I'm planning to make a ROOT (http://root.cern.ch) Debian GNU/Linux
> package, but I'm not quite sure what thier Lisence entails, as far as
> the Debian system is concerned. I've included the lisence below. The
> lines that I'm concerned about are:
>       Additionally, the authors grant permission to modify this
>       software and its documentation for any purpose, provided that
>       such modifications are not distributed without the explicit
>       consent of the authors ... 
> Does this mean that the package should go into "non-free"? 

Yes, it does: it clearly violates paragraph 3 of the DFSG (Debian Free
Software Guidelines <http://www.debian.org/social_contract#guidelines> also
known as the Open Source Definition <http://www.opensource.org/osd.html>):

  3.Derived Works 

     The license must allow modifications and derived works, and must allow
     them to be distributed under the same terms as the license of the
     original software.

Our experience is that `central patch control' does not scale well: if ever
the ROOT team loses interest in the program or too many changes are
proposed that they consider irrelevant (like patches needed to support
hardware which they consider obscure or obsolete) then effectively the
program is `frozen' and cannot be modified.

This has happened so may times in the past, however unlikely it appeared at
the time, that we *must* insist on this point.

So root is non-free unless the authors change their mind!

Best regards,
Kristoffer Høgsbro Rose, phd, prof.associé  <http://www.ens-lyon.fr/~krisrose>
addr. LIP, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, 46 Allée d'Italie, F-69364 Lyon 7
phone +33(0)4 7272 8642, fax +33(0)4 7272 8080   <Kristoffer.Rose@ENS-Lyon.FR>
pgp f-p: A4D3 5BD7 3EC5 7CA2 924E D21D 126B B8E0   <krisrose@{debian,tug}.org>

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