Your message dated Fri, 11 Aug 2017 12:44:51 -0700
with message-id <>
and subject line Closing inactive Policy bugs
has caused the Debian Bug report #690495,
regarding Prohibit click-through licenses or disclaimers
to be marked as done.

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Package: debian-policy
Severity: wishlist

Inspired by bug 689095, I'd like to suggest something like the following
as an addition to Debian Policy:

Software in Debian should not prompt users to explicitly agree to
licenses, disclaimers, or terms of service in order to run that
software.  This includes prompts to agree to Free Sofware licenses
(since such licenses do not require user agreement), warranty or
liability disclaimers, notices about possible legal issues, or
exhortations to use the software in any particular way.  Software
designed to interact with a third-party service may pass through the
terms of service for that third-party service if required by that

The DFSG already prohibits click-through licenses, and likely terms of
service if they actually constitute a license; I only mentioned them
here for completeness.  This policy change would cover disclaimers,
warnings about local laws, or similar.  Also, I intentionally only
covered the case of prompting for agreement, rather than simply
displaying; plenty of software displays disclaimers or similar at
startup (for instance, gdb), but requiring user agreement seems like the
case worth prohibiting.

I didn't bother saying anything about software in non-free, since such
software may unavoidably have to prompt the user for agreement if the
license requires it, or if the license prohibits the modifications
necessary to remove it; I figured that limiting it to "Software in
Debian" (relying on the standard definition of non-free as not part of
Debian) would suffice for the cases I care about.

To the best of my knowledge, almost no software in Debian currently does
this, so this change would not make packages immediately buggy.  I
intentionally made this a "should" rather than a "must" for now, because
I know of one package that already does this, and I don't intend for
this change to make any package immediately rc-buggy.  The one package I
know of that does this, Transmission, I've already filed a bug on (bug

- Josh Triplett

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--- Begin Message ---
control: user
control: usertag -1 +obsolete
control: tag -1 +wontfix

Russ Allbery and I did a round of in-person bug triage at DebConf17 and
we are closing this bug as inactive.

The reasons for closing fall into the following categories, from most
frequent to least frequent:

- issue is appropriate for Policy, there is a consensus on how to fix
  the problem, but preparing the patch is very time-consuming and no-one
  has volunteered to do it, and we do not judge the issue to be
  important enough to keep an open bug around;

- issue is appropriate for Policy but there does not yet exist a
  consensus on what should change, and no recent discussion.  A fresh
  discussion might allow us to reach consensus, and the messages in the
  old bug are unlikely to help very much; or

- issue is not appropriate for Policy.

If you feel this bug is still relevant and want to restart the
discussion, you can re-open the bug.  However, please consider instead
opening a new bug with a message that summarises and condenses the
previous discussion, updates the report for the current state of Debian,
and makes clear exactly what you think should change.

A lot of these old bugs have long side tangents and numerous messages,
and that old discussion is not necessarily helpful for figuring out what
Debian Policy should say today.

Sean Whitton

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