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Validity of DFSG #10

[I'm not sure if intrigeri is subscribed to project so keeping him in
CC if he says he is  he can be safely dropped from CC ]

Hello Project,

Just to give a background as part of my NM process me and my AM
(intrigeri) started a discussion on ambiguity in DFSG #10 which
specifies example of DFSG free license as BSD, GPL and Artistic. The
web version of DFSG text at [1] currently provides link to each license
name which respectively points to BSD-3-clause, GPL v3 page and Artistic
license 1.0 page from perl project. But the text file of social_contract[2]
shipped as part of doc-debian package doesn't contain any references to
which version of license it is referring to.

Of course all the versions of these licenses are DFSG free but we felt
that all copies of Social Contract should be matching (i.e. both web
version and the one shipped by doc-debian). Since this was just
modification to file shipped by doc-debian I felt filing a bug on
doc-debian is appropriate.

As per intrigeri's suggestion before going to file a bug I asked few
DD's whom I know about this and asked their suggestion.(Jaldhar Vyas,Paul
Tagliamonte, Jakub Wilk, Jonas Smedegaard, Kartik Mistry). As per their
suggestion I'm starting this thread here rather than filing the bug.

In brief Jakub Wilk wanted to get rid of DFSG #10 as it is creating
ambiguous situation by pointing to licenses which have multiple
variants. rather than rephrasing him I'm attaching his mail with his
permission to this.

In my opinion DFSG #10 is not a guideline but a statement giving example
compared to other DFSG's so even I feel it is better to drop DFSG
#10. So I would like to formally start a discussion on this topic
here. Please share your suggestions.

[1] http://www.debian.org/social_contract
[2] /usr/share/doc/debian/social_contract.txt.gz

Best Regards
Vasudev Kamath
Connect on ~friendica: copyninja@{frndk.de | vasudev.homelinux.net}
IRC nick: copyninja | vasudev {irc.oftc.net | irc.freenode.net}
GPG Key: C517 C25D E408 759D 98A4  C96B 6C8F 74AE 8770 0B7E
When DFSG was initially written, the authors had most likely the 
original BSD license (the one with 4 clauses, one of them being an 
obnoxious advertising clause) in mind, as it was the only common BSD 
license back then.

* Vasudev Kamath <kamathvasudev@gmail.com>, 2012-12-20, 13:10:
>I mentioned that DFSG at [1] is linking the *BSD* text to BSD-3-clause 

There was the 4-clause BSD at this URL in 1999:

>Hence we thought this should be fixed in the social_contract.txt file 
>which is shipped as part of *doc-debian* package.

In my opinion, this file should contain the actual text only, not 
someone's interpretation of it.

I'm not personally fond of DFSG§10. All the license names it mentions 
are ambiguous: there a 2 versions of Artistic License, 3 versions of GPL 
and multitude of BSD license variants in the wild. Many of these are 
considered as “bad” licenses by some developers.

But I'd rather get rid of DFSG§10 completely than try to fix it.

Anyway, I'd suggest you to discuss it publicly. I think debian-project 
would be the correct forum (not debian-legal, as Jonas suggested). If 
you start such discussion, feel free to forward my mail.

Jakub Wilk
My MUA is on the fritz, so I can quote anyone, but I totally agree with
Jakub's point of view.

I also agree with Jonas as well, although I'm not sure we need d-legal
(as both BSD-3 and BSD-4 are DFSG free), it's a consistency issue.

On Thu, Dec 20, 2012 at 01:10:30PM +0530, Vasudev Kamath wrote:
> Hello All,
> As part of my NM process *P&P-1* intrigeri asked me whether I agree to
> DFSG. And my response was yes. Later intrigeri told DFSG #10 which gives
> example about DFSG compatible license mentions about about BSD license
> but doesn't specify which BSD license it is talking about as there are
> multiple variants of it and do I still agree to it. I mentioned that
> DFSG at [1] is linking the *BSD* text to BSD-3-clause license and hence
> should not be a problem.
> But intrigeri noted that the file under
> /usr/share/doc/debian/social_contract.txt does not provide any reference
> which can clarify which BSD license it is talking about and this text
> file will be normally used to refer social_contract as it is shipped
> with each copy of Debian.

IIRC, BSD-4, 3, and simplified are all DFSG free :)

I do, however agree that DFSG #10 is silly. I'd just as soon yield to
efforts to remove that clause then add consistency there :)

> Hence we thought this should be fixed in the social_contract.txt file
> which is shipped as part of *doc-debian* package.
> I searched across the bugs filed on doc-debian to see if this issue is
> already discussed but I couldn't find any. I also found some of GR's
> which were done for changing the social_contract / DFSG texts but not
> related to the issue I mentioned here. I assume normal way to change
> social_contract or DFSG text requires a GR but since above case does not
> involve any change to social contract or DFSG itself but just a fix to
> the social_contract text file shipped with doc-debian (as reference is
> already there in web version of DFSG [1]) I felt a bug against
> doc-debian should be the way to go.
> Intrigeri agreed to this but asked me to contact DD's whom I know before
> going further. Hence I'm writing this mail to you folks. Also intrigeri
> has agreed to consider this work in my NM process. So I request you
> folks to share your view on this topic. I'm also attaching a draft bug
> report I prepared against doc-debian package.
> Please share your views and suggestions on this.
> [1] http://www.debian.org/social_contract
> Thanks and Best Regards
> --
> Vasudev Kamath
> http://copyninja.info
> Connect on ~friendica: copyninja@{frndk.de | vasudev.homelinux.net}
> IRC nick: copyninja | vasudev {irc.oftc.net | irc.freenode.net}
> GPG Key: C517 C25D E408 759D 98A4  C96B 6C8F 74AE 8770 0B7E

> From: Vasudev Kamath <kamathvasudev@gmail.com>
> To: submit@bugs.debian.org
> Subject: Insert reference to BSD license in /usr/share/doc/debian/social_contract.txt
> Package: doc-debian
> Severity: normal
> Hi,
> As per my NM process we noted that the BSD license is not having
> reference in /usr/share/doc/debian/social_contract.txt. If you see the
> social contract present on Debian website [1] the BSD license is linked
> to [2] which is BSD-3-clause. This avoids confusion about which BSD
> license[3] is being referred in DFSG. Now this reference is not present
> in /usr/share/doc/debian/social_contract.txt and we feel that it is
> better to include this reference in all copies of DFSG shipped in Debian
> to avoid any confusion.
> Please consider including this license reference in social_contract.txt
> shipped with doc-debian
> [1] http://www.debian.org/social_contract
> [2] http://www.debian.org/misc/bsd.license
> [3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BSD_licenses
> Warm Regards

Sounds friendly enough, but I think this is the sort of thing we might
now gather up some thoughts on -project :)


 .''`.  Paul Tagliamonte <paultag@debian.org>
: :'  : Proud Debian Developer
`. `'`  4096R / 8F04 9AD8 2C92 066C 7352  D28A 7B58 5B30 807C 2A87
 `-     http://people.debian.org/~paultag

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