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Re: ircII is now free.

[ Moved this to debian-publicity entirely.  -Joey ]

On Tue, Jun 09, 1998 at 09:04:59AM +1000, Anthony Towns wrote:
> On Tue, Jun 09, 1998 at 05:22:46AM +1000, Anthony Towns wrote:
> > I wonder if we'd like to make a press release about this? 

I think it'd be a good thing to make a press release to

 . Slashdot
 . Cola
 . Linux-Journal
 . Linux-Gazette

This press release should contain enough information so they can
use it for further release but should not be too long.

> I spoke to David privately a little, and he's inclined more toward a
> simple release, whereas, as usual, I'm inclined more to extravagance.  

I like the longer one from Anthony.  As the brownie points belong
to Davide you should coordinate your effort with him.

However, our press contact just left for a month trip to germany.
I think I'll contact him later.

> ---
> The Debian GNU/Linux Distribution 
> http://www.debian.org/
> Free Software: Playing by the Book
> June 8, 1998
> Michael Sandrof, Troy Rollo and Matthew Green, the authors of the
> ircII IRC client, have rereleased it under a modified BSD license. In
> so doing, they ensured ircII and the clients based on it --- including
> BitchX, epic and tkIRC --- may remain free in every sense of the word.
> On Saturday, April 25th 1998, Igor Grobman, a Debian developer,
> reopened a bug report against Debian's prepackaged version of ircII,
> which included the following passage as part of its copyright:
> 	``IRC II is copyright (c) 1990 by Michael Sandrof.  You have
> 	the right to copy, compile, and maintain this software.  You
> 	also have the right to make modifcations to this code for
> 	local use only.''
> This fails the third point of the Debian Free Software Guidelines, in
> that it does not explicitly permit the redistribution of modified
> versions of Michael Sandrof's client. In the absence of such
> permission, modified versions of the client (including the current
> ircII, and derivatives such as BitchX, epic and tkIRC) may not be
> redistributed.

I'd suggest writing it "tkirc" though.

> David Welton, the maintainer of the Debian prepackaged versions of
> epic and epic4, took the time to contact the current developer of
> ircII, Matthew Green, to determine the intended meaning of the
> problematic license statement. Mr Green replied:
I would skip the the paragraph from here

> 	``While I can't change this text, I can provide you with a
> 	fairly accurate description of the *intended* usage of
> 	that. It meant that someone could make changes locally and
> 	*not* distribute them if they so desired, not that they could
> 	*not* distribute their changes.
> 	``In any case, I cannot change the text of the license as
> 	Michael Sandrof has not been around for at least 6 years.''
> Troy Rollo, the maintainer following Mr Sandrof and preceeding Mr
> Green, was then contacted to further clarify the licensing issues. Mr 
> Rollo pointed out that: 
> 	``There was a legitimate, but informal, transfer of rights,
> 	however circumstances have changed significantly since those
> 	days and something more formal is usually required now.''
> Mr Rollo passed on the physical contact details of Mr Sandrof.

                          Until here. for the general press release.

The paragraphs doesn't contain essential information and only make
the press release longer.

> Numerous telephone conversations and email exchanges ensued to obtain
> a license that ensured ircII was as free as the authors had always
> intended.
> Finally, on the 8th of June, David Welton posted a message to the
> Debian Developers mailing list, entitled ``ircII is now free'',
> presenting the new, free, BSD-like license of ircII.
> Debian takes free software very seriously, and has a social contract
> to clarify this commitment. The social contract includes the Debian
> Free Software Guidelines, which Debian uses to define just what it
> means by Free Software. These Guidelines have since been used as the
> basis of the Open Source Definition.
> Other examples of Debian's commitment to free software include
> convincing the authors of Enlightenment to allow all users use of
> their software --- even Microsoft employees; convincing the author of
> noweb to allow derived works to be sold; and convincing the author of
> ncftp to honour the GPL license of libreadline and place ncftp under
> the GPL.
> Debian produces Debian GNU/Linux, a free distribution of the GNU/Linux
> operating system, maintained and updated over the Internet by many
> users who volunteer their time and support. Debian is currently in the
> final stages of testing the 2.0 release of Debian GNU/Linux.
> For more information on issues in licensing Free Software, please see
> the Free Software Foundation's Web Pages.
> Please contact <press@debian.org> for more details.
> Other resources:
> ircII:			ftp://ircii.warped.com/pub/ircII/
> ircII License:          ftp://ircii.warped.com/pub/ircII/ircii-current/
>                                    ircii/doc/Copyright
> Debian:                 http://www.debian.org/
> Debian Social Contract (including the Debian Free Software 
> Guidelines):            http://www.debian.org/social_contract.html
> Open Source Definition: http://www.opensource.org/osd.html

I'd also skip that one as you don't refer to it (or I'm blind...)

> The Free Software Foundation (GNU):
>                         http://www.gnu.org/ 

Not sure about this one...

Anyway.  I'd appreciate if the long press release would be stored
on Debian's web pages.  There should at least be a small note
(maybe the one from Davide) for the News section.  In addition to
the press release Anthony could rework the long version into an
article for the Linux Journal, which would be a good idea, imho



  / Martin Schulze  *  joey@infodrom.north.de  *  26129 Oldenburg /
 /                             The good thing about standards is /
/ that there are so many to choose from. -- Andrew S. Tanenbaum /

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