This was posted to the freeorion-programmers list. If no one objects, I'm going to do as Ender suggests in a week or so.
Hello, developers. As some of you may know, I am maintaining the Debian
package for FreeOrion.
A couple of weeks ago I finally uploaded a package to the Debian archive, and
the FTPmasters rejected it due to the license that govern the artwork and
sounds (CC Attribution-Share-Alike 2.5) being 'non-free'. I investigated the
issue and this is my summary and petition.
It seems that Debian raised some concerns time ago about the CC 2.0 and 2.5
licences, some of them summarized in this article:http://people.debian.org/~evan/ccsummary.html
Basically, the debian-legal team evaluated all the licenses and found
problems. Those concerns made CC-licences < v3.0 non-compliant with the DFSG
(Debian Free Software Guidelines), that you can get inhttp://www.debian.org/social_contract#guidelines
The key issues were:
* A creator could request that downstream distributors remove all
references to him or herself.
* Requirements for attribution were too vague.
* The anti-DRM clause was too broad.
* The restrictions on use of the trademark "Creative Commons" were too
In fact, the discussions with MIT and Debian were the seed for version 3.0 of
licenses. In February of 2007, Creative Commons finally published the CC
licenses v3.0, that basically addressed almost all the problems. You can
find a summary of what the changes are in:http://creativecommons.org/weblog/entry/7249
In particular, the Debian issue is explained in a long writing:http://wiki.creativecommons.org/Version_3#Debian
The debian-legal team found almost acceptable the new license (save for some
DRM-related issues):http://evan.prodromou.name/Debian_Creat ... oup_report
Debian would prefer a “parallel distribution language” to allow the release
of CC-licensed works under DRM by licensees on certain conditions, but this
hasn't been included in the current set of licenses.
Oh, and I have checked with the Debian FTPmasters that we are currently
accepting CC-SA v3.0 as a free license.
By all the above, I beg you to change the license of FreeOrion's art and
sounds from CC-SA 2.5 to CC-SA v3.0. The main advantages for me are:
- Some obscure points from the license have been really clarified.
- The license has been removed of its U.S.A. roots and made a generic
(namely 'unported') license, in order to adequate to every jurisdiction.
- Maybe in Debian we are quite strict about what we include inside, but I
think that is a problem you will have to face sooner or later.
- Inclusion of FreeOrion in Debian is a really good thing, and we should work
towards that. I have seen many times how a broad userbase brings new blood
and developers to a project, or even simply patches for this and that.
I have seen that you made a switch from v2.0 to v2.5 not much time ago. I
would like to propose another change to v3.0, if the artwork team, sounds
team and the project leader have no problem in it.