[EMBOSS] Files included in EMBOSS but licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs

Charles Plessy charles-listes-emboss at plessy.org
Thu Jul 28 14:38:37 UTC 2011

Dear EMBOSS developers,
(CC Debian Med mailing list)

while working on upgrading Debian's emboss package to version 6.4.0
(congratulations, by the way), I found some files in EMBOSS that are
not considered ‘Free software’ by Debian.  They were actually present
in past releases as well. Here is their list:


and emboss/data/dbxref.txt

Their license is Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported (CC BY-ND
3.0), and it disallows modification of the files.  The presence of these files
in EMBOSS makes it impossible for Debian to redistribute it in our operating
system.  I have confirmed with the UniProt consortium's helpdesk that, even in
isolation, these files are covered by the CC BY-ND license.  I see three
possible solutions. 

 a) Remove the files in Debian's EMBOSS package.
 b) Distribute EMBOSS with the files, but in the non-free section of the Debian archive.
 c) Replace the files by Free equivalents, for instance by re-creating records from scratch.

I am not very comfortable with any of the solutions, and was wondering if you
would have suggestions ?

Have a nice day,

Charles Plessy
Debian Med packaging team,
Tsurumi, Kanagawa, Japan

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