[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Non-Constitutional Voting Procedure

On Wed, Oct 25, 2000 at 02:32:23PM -0500, Ean R . Schuessler wrote:
> On Wed, Oct 25, 2000 at 11:29:22AM +0200, Sven LUTHER wrote:
> > Well, ...
> > 
> > ok i understand this, What you don't want is for debian to distribute netscape
> > or other such commercial software.
> > 
> > What about software that is almost free, but is not free in the sense of the
> > DFSG ?
> > 
> > This is the case of various software that has big chances of becomming free in
> > the future. 
> > 
> > Maintaining packages of them has more chances to convince the authors to
> > change the licensing, because they see that the maintainer is doing a good job
> > of it (well especially people that think if they go totally free, they will be
> > inunded by bug report from modified source or other such thing.)
> Well, but I would say the opportunity for free distribution is a big
> incentive. If we distribute questionably licensed software then we are 
> removing any motivation for them to change their license. It is by
> showing prejudice against their licenses, and thus slowing the adoption of
> their software, that we will most quickly coerce companies into good licenses.

You miss my point, i am not speaking about big companies but about smaller
groups, individuals or research institues or other such.

I myself maintain the ocaml package, developped at french INRIA. it was
previously distributed under a free but only distribute as pristin source +
patch (well no binaries). and couldn't go even in non-free without permission
from the author. There are loads of GPLed and other free stuff which depended
on this package (well it's a language of the ML family, and other GPLed
software got written in this language), and there was no free alternative. 
The authors were afraid of a more free license, because they claimed they have
not the mancraft needed to loose time sorting bug report from modified source
they know nothing about. After various discution, 1-2 years after i toke over
maintainership, they decided to go with a free licence (QPL and LGPL, altough
the latest cause problem because there are no dynamic linking yet).

This is no netscape or sun, they distribute rpms of the packages, but simply
lack the time for debian packaging (i guess so, also i suspect most of them
don't use debian). Sure i could propose as volunteer to package it for them,
but i would prefer to do it for debian (well no more a problem since the
package is free now).

There is even a package which i packaged and use personnaly, the author gave
its ok to it, but was rejected (even in non-free) due to obscure wording in
the licence. The author don't respond anymore to my mails, so i let it be.

But then maybe reclassifying what is in non-free can help here. Not all
non-free packages are equal.



Reply to: