Re: summary of software licenses in non-free
> > It's probably in non-free, instead of not being distributed at all,
> > by mistake.
> Needs verifying. The description says: "Due to license considerations,
> this package will only extract the source code for MMIX onto your
> system. After installation, you will have to run build-mmix to build
> the binary package and install it." This doesn't sound like a package
> whose maintainer has been careless about copyright.
It might be a good idea to have a file with a standard name, such as
README.non-DFSG which went with files in non-free. This could have a free-form
section for Debian comments on, for example, why the package can be distributed
at all (if this might seem not to be allowed from a casual reading of the
copyright file), or why it is in non-free.
There could also be a set of tags, able to be machine parsed, which say, for
example which sections of the DFSG caused the package to be in non-free, or
classes or categories similar to those suggested by MJ Ray - such as
"no commercial", "no modification", "patent", "compatibility", "notification"
Putting this information into a separate file would reserve the copyright file
for the upstream information, and make it clear which was Debian commentary
on the legal position, saving README.Debian for technical packaging issues.
The README.non-DFSG could also contain pointers to free alternatives if they
Once a reasonable proportion of packages had such a file it could be required
by policy for non-free packages.