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Re: DEP licenses

to, 2008-05-29 kello 20:53 -0400, Kevin Mark kirjoitti:
> This talk of the licensing of DEPs is a bit of a confusion. 

I suspect you meant to write that sentence as "I am confused by
copyright license requirements for DEPs, could someone please clarify?".
I will answer accordingly.

* DEPs are documents produced by the Debian project.
* DEPs are copyrightable works.
* DEPs will hopefully be used by Debian in a variety of ways.
* Some of those ways require copying parts of DEPs into other documents.
* For example, the Policy Manual or Developer's Reference.
* Other ways of using DEPs may mean that they should be part of main.
* For example, in /usr/share/doc for the affected packages.
* Therefore, DEPs must have a copyright license Debian considers free.
* Even without the above, Debian cannot morally accept non-free DEPs.
* Any copyright license that Debian considers free is good enough.
* It's easier if all or most DEPs have the same license.
* Thus, it would be nice to recommend one to be used by default.
* It is not necessary for all DEPs to have the same license.

About patents:

* In any sane legal system, patents can only by filed by inventors.
* DEP licenses are decided by their authors.
* If DEP authors are the inventors, they can file patents anyway.
* In many insane legal systems, it doesn't matter who files a patent.
* In those systems, it doesn't matter if something is public knowledge.
* In those systems, anyone can file patents for anything, any time.
* Nothing we say or do can prevent patents from being filed.
* Therefore, patents are irrelevant for this discussion.

About using DEPs in visual art, in Knoppix, or whatever:

* As long as the licenses are obeyed, that is OK.

About "Should the DEP business process be restricted by us through a

* No.
* Never.
* By asking, you prove your confusion.
* You really need to learn what freedom is all about.
* Please do the learning without excessive posting to Debian lists.

On a personal note:

* You write a lot of e-mail to development lists.
* That takes time.
* Fairly little of your e-mail is useful to the project.
* It does not harm too much, many people already filter you out.
* Please consider spending the time on useful things instead.
* For example, write a HOWTO on some topic.
* Please use wiki.debian.org for it.
* That way others can help improve it.
* I apologize if this e-mail sounds harsh.
* I tried to avoid aggression, but also to make myself clear.

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