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Re: handling Mozilla with kid gloves [was: GUADEC report]



On Wed, 02 Feb 2005 02:24:42 +0000 MJ Ray wrote:

[...]
> Francesco Poli wrote:
[...]
> > [...] I try to approach its copyright holders and
> > persuade them to change license.
> > In order to be more credible when I point out the issues that makes
> > a license non-free [...]
> 
> Here's the flip. All of this talk of a licence being free or
> non-free doesn't directly answer the question of whether the
> software is free. Even convincing people isn't the core question.
> I've found when making my licence notes that there are licences
> with grey areas, licences which could be used for either free
> or non-free software without too much effort.

Of course, it doesn't.
But you need to analyse the license anyway.
There are clear cases where only little further checks are needed, and
then you're done.
There are obviously gray areas, where you reach a conclusion only after
accurate scrutiny of all the details (or where you don't actually reach
any conclusion, 'cause you give up...).
Nevertheless, license analysis is a necessary step.

> > > Do the long licence summaries do much besides fuelling the project
> > > red-top's debian-legal hate campaign?
> > I think that the absence of summaries is even worse, because, I
> > suppose, debian-legal hate campaigners are often not very interested
> > in legal details: as a consequence, long (and difficult to follow)
> > threads with no summarized conclusions would seem even more obscure
> > and opaque to them.
> 
> Isn't making it more opaque to the hate campaigners a good thing?

Sometimes, but not always.
I would think that in most cases they fear and hate what they do not
understand.
Thus, clarifying the issues we see is an improvement, IMHO.

> It would reduce them to empty "I don't comprehend debian-legal"
> rumblings instead of being able to point at something which
> suggests to the innocent "look, these people are going to ban
> Mozilla and the entire Linux kernel from Debian".  The problem is
> how to make it still useful to the rest. Gerv's recent grumble
> has given me some ideas.

Well, I'm looking forward to seeing them exposed.

-- 
          Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.
......................................................................
  Francesco Poli                             GnuPG Key ID = DD6DFCF4
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