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Re: Is forcing "upstream" distribution really OK for free software?

From: MJ Ray
Subject: Re: Is forcing "upstream" distribution really OK for free software?
Date: 08 Jul 2004 22:40:16 GMT

Simon Waters <> wrote:
> I think that a forced redistribution clause wouldn't fit the Debian free
> guidelines, but is within the spirit of the FSF/GPL [...]

I'm not sure, because it doesn't seem a big step from forced notification
and forced publication of any modifications (part of the FSF objections
to APSL 1) to forced upstream distribution.

> There is no reason to think that Debian will endorse any and all
> licences the FSF approves AFAIK. So I'm not sure why you expect the two
> sets of guidelines to be consistent?!

I don't expect them to be. I just find the most benefit from researching
the differences. For example, investigating why they differ on the APSL
2 termination clause for patent cases unrelated to the APSL'd software
told me more about the FSF position on software patents. (Even so,
I still don't understand why "poison pill" clauses can be acceptable
for free software, according to FSF, so don't ask me to explain it.
I mean, Apple may infringe a user's hardware patent.)

> [...] even Debian packagers don't always
> remember to notify the maintainers of bugs found (and often fixed) - you
> have to go sign up)

DDs are supposed to send fixes upstream, as described in s3.5 of the
developer's reference.

Sometimes we're not fast enough about it, sadly.


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