Bug#384019: manual-copyright clarification

James Vega jamessan at debian.org
Mon Aug 28 23:56:53 UTC 2006

On Mon, Aug 28, 2006 at 11:25:00PM +0200, Bram Moolenaar wrote:
> > * The debian-legal as determined it as non DFSG-free (see
> >   http://wiki.debian.org/DFSGLicenses#head-add2e754f3a906f07e4ff1c050a2548f04ef4cbe)
> Debian people tend to spend more time on splitting hairs than others.

For what it's worth, the debian-legal summary doesn't appear to be very
solid.  As suggested by Anthony Towns[1], I've asked Joerg to take a
look at the license/bug report and give his opinion.

> > While I think (but this is a personal opinion) that the minor points
> > could be ignored for inclusion of the vim documentation in the debian
> > distribution, I don't think the latter aspect could be. We would
> > probably be forced to remove the vim documentation from the debian
> > distribution, moving it to non-free :-(((
> I think that's your problem.  Requiring authors to use exactly the
> license you approve of is actually close to dictatorial behavior.
> Please consider losing the rules a bit, so that you can actually claim
> to have a "free" operating system.

We don't require authors to use any license.  We like to suggest that
they relicense (or dual license if possible) if their current license
doesn't meet Debian's Free Software Guidelines[2].  If that isn't
acceptable/possible, in many cases (such as this one) we can still
provide the documentation to the end user but it requires an extra step
on their end.

> > Since I don't want that ... while on the Debian side I'm trying to get
> > comments from the people responsible of accepting stuff into the archive
> > ... on the "Bram" side I would like to know how hard it would be to
> > relicense the manual under a different license.
> > 
> > Could you please comment on that?
> In my opinion the docs go under a free license, I don't see a reason to
> change it.  And I actually can't change it, since I used text from Steve
> Oualline's book in the user manual, and that text uses this license.

Ideally, a re-examination of the license on Debian's side will determine
that it does meet our guidelines.  Thank you for taking the time to
respond to our questions.


[1] - http://lists.alioth.debian.org/pipermail/pkg-vim-maintainers/2006-August/003211.html
[2] - http://www.debian.org/social_contract#guidelines
GPG Key: 1024D/61326D40 2003-09-02 James Vega <jamessan at debian.org>
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