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Re: Request for GR: clarifying the license text licensing / freeness issue

Nathanael Nerode <neroden@fastmail.fm> wrote:
> [GPL/LGPL addressed in an earlier thread.]
> The Academic Free License does not have 
> permission to modify.  The LaTeX Project Public License does not have 
> permission to modify.

I think AFL is not a DFSG-free licence because of its excessive
Mutual Termination for Patent Action clause that contaminates other
software.  It also seems to use copyright to try to enforce a sort of
'super-trademark' which I suspect breaks guidelines somehow.

LPPL is a rather more complicated licence with which I'm not
particularly familiar, but this wouldn't be its first DFSGish problem,
would it?

> We've already *got* non-free software in Debian, namely the license 
> texts above.  In fact people are already arguing exactly what you said.  
> This would simply be more honest about it.

Instead, we should reject the broken reasoning that supports the
above claim, such as exaggeratedly claiming 'most' licences do this.
There may be a few licences that are buggy about this and to which we
want to grant a limited-time exception, but that is not unusual.  Use
a GR for only that, not a permanent foundation document edit.

> Care to craft another solution? [...]

No, I've no interest in making another solution looking for a problem.
Attempting to make this black and white by changing our promise seems
likely to introduce as many conflicts as it removes.  Even if we could
change the licence texts, we couldn't change them, so this is an
exercise in pointlessness.

My Opinion Only: see http://people.debian.org/~mjr/
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