[Debtags-devel] "license" facet?

Benjamin Mesing bensmail@gmx.net
Fri, 03 Jun 2005 14:06:34 +0200


>  1) There are many packages with a free, but not-so-standard license
>     (such as flex, python, w3m, debconf and many others[1])
>     categorise those packages with a non-standard license.
>     This calls for an 'other' category, which I generally dislike.
>     Also, quite a lot of packages would end up in the 'other' category.
>     Or, we could have tags such as "Something else, but DFSG-Free" or
>     "Fails DFSG point 2".
I like the idea of only offering the most known licenses and have
another tag as DFSG free. Of course there would be many packages being
license::other but does that hurt so much? Most people would be
interested in a) one of the main licenses or b) packages which offer
them some defined kind of freedom (like DFSG free).
Especially for b) there might be other degrees of freedom that might be
interesting like "free without having to publish my source" (e.g. LGPL)
but this is hard to accomplish even though one could try. 

>  2) I don't know if this risk is real; however, people could see the tag
>     and don't go further reading the license.  Since this is legal
>     business, one can infringe the law because the tag is wrong, then
>     blame us.  And currently, everyone can go to the packagebrowser
>     website and tag packages however they want.
I don't consider this to be an issue. We provide the documentation "as
is" without taking responsibility for anything. Tags should help people
searching, but don't provide legal assistance. Nobody would sue
debtags/Debian, because a package dealing with music did not have the
tag media::sound, so he missed this great piece of software.

>  - Make some tags read-only in the packagebrowser (its sources are in
>    svn://svn.debian.org/debtags/central-database/trunk and we can help
>    Erich with some patches).
>    We need ways of updating the data, though: maybe restrict writing to
>    patches sent my a mail signed by a DD?  I could implement sending
>    signed mails in debtags and debtags-edit, if needed.
This would be generally a good idea for difficult tags, and perhaps tags
which are adopted (e.g. uitoolkit::kde by the KDE Team).

>    License::Artistic
>    License::BSD
>    License::GPL
>    License::LGPL
I would recommend this because different versions of *GPL* are similar
in spirit.

> Also, should we involve debian-legal@lists.debian.org in the discussion?
This seems to make sense to me.

Greetings Ben