Seems like this could be avoided by simply approaching the author and offering to pay for a version of the software with the license you want. If I'm not mistaken, the author in question has in fact given companies in the past permission to use this particular library for "evil purposes".
Most importantly though, one should refrain from making demands on people who are offering you things for free.
If you like the code and are willing to use it under the terms provided, use it. Otherwise you're no worse off than you were before. Write your own version and get on with life.
It doesn't work like that. For the code to be part of a Linux distribution like Debian, they have to be able to distribute it to everyone, so such a request would amount to asking can you please remove the clause from the license. And your point about not making demands to things you get for free is not true in general. When someone offers money to the local animal shelter under the condition that it's only used for cute red cats, they're right to refuse I'd say. Bad licenses obstruct the progress of free software, so it's necessary to call them out.
If its not an option for Debian, it is only because of their own peculiarity that it isn't. The type or magnitude of the "payment" is unspecified and open to any negotiation at all. They could even send him an email asking for a GPL license to it in exchange for rewards in the afterlife.
He may not go for it, but they are certainly capable of asking.