Re: could you safely rewrite the DFSG requirement?
On Mon, Feb 18, 2002 at 11:43:01AM +0100, Sven wrote:
> On Thu, Feb 14, 2002 at 09:27:05AM -0800, Thomas Bushnell, BSG wrote:
> > Sven <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
> > > Well, this may well fgollow the letter of what is written, but in no way the
> > > spirit of it.
> > The "spirit" of it? The "spirit" of it? Puhleez.
> > The DFSG's spirit is given by the customary interpretations on
> > debian-legal and the history of how it has been used. Not by you
> > insisting, first, that we must be very literal, and then, when it
> > turns out the very literal meaning isn't what you want, insisting that
> > instead we shouldn't be so literal.
> > The actual "spirit" of the requirement is to pretty much ignore the
> > aggregation qualification entirely. You didn't like that, so I showed
> > how taking the qualification literally amounts to very close to the
> > same thing.
> Again, if it is going to be ignored anyway, why not remove it.
> The rest is just play with words and other nonsense that is used for
I understand the intent to be that the DFSG requires that a work MUST
be freely distributable when aggregated with other works. If you take
this section out, then it's possible for a work to pass the DFSG with a
license that impairs our ability to redistribute it.
If anything, the problem with the DFSG is that it doesn't explicitly
make all of the same requirements of a work when distributed alone.
The license of a Debian component may not restrict any party from
selling or giving away the software as a component of an aggregate
software distribution containing programs from several different
sources. The license may not require a royalty or other fee for such
Even more problematic (to bring up an old flamewar) is that the DFSG is
specifically worded in terms of software; so a book by O'Reilly whose
license allows it to be redistributed with a collection of software, but
NOT with a collection of other documentation, would -technically- be
DFSG-compliant. However, I can't see how this would be in keeping with
the spirit of the DFSG.
> But, i will make a proposal for the DFSG to be ammended so as to remove the
> aggregation clause, or at least clearly state that we consider a null or
> almost null aggregation ok.
It would have to be the other way around; to state that even trivial
aggregations MUST be allowed by the license. Nitpicking a license, only
to leave ourselves unable to distribute part of our own 'approved'
archive, is no win. :)
But I definitely agree with you that some action needs to be taken on
the documentation-as-software question.