This page provides information on IETF RFC/I-Ds within Debian.


The majority of IETF documents, such as RFCs, are not licensed under DFSG-free terms, and should thus not be included in Debian's main. However, RFC documents are frequently included in many packages that would otherwise be free software. Some care is required to remove then when packaging software for Debian.

Some links to discussion of the license problems:

Some general background:

In particular, the etch_rc_policy.txt document above says:

  1. DFSG-freeness
    • All content in main and contrib must meet the DFSG, both in .debs and in the source (including the .orig.tar.gz)


All non-free RFC files in non-source packages are believed to be reported, see:

Currently I'm investigating source packages too. A list of packages with non-free files in them are found at:

Known exceptions

These documents have been made available under a free license:

Bug report template

This will be used for the reports on non-free RFCs in source packages.

{{{ Subject: Source package contains non-free IETF RFC Severity: serious Package: [package] Version: [version] Hi!

This bug has been filed on multiple packages, and general discussions are kindly requested to take place on debian-legal or debian-devel.

It seems the source package contains files from the IETF under non-free license terms:

[list of files in package]

The license on I-Ds is not DFSG-free, see:

The etch release policy says binary and source packages must each be free:

The severity is serious, because this violates the Debian policy:

There are (at least) three ways to fix this problem. In order of preference:

1. Ask the author of the RFC to re-license the RFC under

2. Remove the non-free material from the source, e.g., by

3. Move the package to non-free.

I'm sorry if this report is filed in error, I went over many packages looking for names of likely non-free files, and there may be false positives.

Thanks, Simon }}}