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Re: License problems in teTeX: a release blocker?

Hi Frank,

On Thu, May 04, 2006 at 10:39:34AM +0200, Frank Küster wrote:

> - Before this bug can be resolved, one needs to go through each
>   individual package and check its license and the list of files
>   covered. I have actually started doing that work, it is slowly but
>   continuously progressing, but we have still *a*lot* of work to do.

> - In the small part I have already checked, I have found a considerable
>   number of files with unclear licenses (in other words, probably
>   intended to be free but not properly indicated) and some that are
>   actually non-free.

> - I expect that in the remaining part, things will be similar.  In other
>   words, I expect non-free or unclearly licensed files in teTeX, which
>   makes this bug release-critical.

> - Even if I continue to work as I do now, I don't know when this will be
>   finished.  And since my professional work situation might change in
>   the second half of this year, I might even be forced to do less.

> - I actually do not expect that we get any real legal problems.  The
>   files in question are and have been distributed so widely and for so
>   long that *distributabilty* cannot realistically be denied by anyone.
>   The problems are actually "only" questions of DFSG-freeness.

I think it's perfectly reasonable under the circumstances to give the
unchecked parts of the package the benefit of the doubt, even to the point
of releasing with them unchecked.  Yes, I understand you *expect* to find
more problematic files, but I don't see any value in delaying a release over
a question of non-free content that might not exist.

Of course, as long as this doubt exists it's best to have as much of the
package license-audited as possible before release; and any freeness
problems that are confirmed before release should be addressed for the

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
vorlon@debian.org                                   http://www.debian.org/

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