Re: Draft new DFSG
Ian Jackson <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
> 3. Exemptions
> (a) Requirement to distribute source code
> The licence may require source code for the work to be distributed
> whenever the executable is distributed, provided that:
> ii. The licence allows the distributor of executables to offer to
> distribute the source code instead of actually distributing it. The
> (1) may require the offer to be in writing
> (2) may specify some minimum length of validity of the offer (not
> more than 3 years)
> (3) may require the offer to be open to all third parties.
I'd suggest rephrasing point (2) to:
(2) may not require that any such offer remain valid for more
than 3 years
That still is a bit convoluted, but it seems slightly clearer - it
took me a little while to realize that point (2) as written does in
fact mean what it's intended to mean.
> (h) Changed name or version number for modified version
> The licence may require modified versions to be distributed under a
> different name or with a different version number, provided that this
> doesn't interfere with using the modified version as a replacement for
> the original.
I'd like to see this changed to:
The licence may require modified versions or (versions distributed
under a different license per (b) above) to be distributed under a
different name or with a different version number, provided that this
doesn't interfere with using the modified version as a replacement for
This is so that a name change can be required if, for example, I take
some bit of code under a NPL-ish license (that is, free but entity XYZ
can use the code for non-free stuff) and release a GPLed version.
(A license that allows stuff similar to this came up in an IRC
conversation about how TT might adjust the Qt license so that it could
> (i) Advertising restriction (deprecated)
This makes me nervous - I'd prefer to not have the DFSG have a
built-in time-out. As much as I approve of saying "advertising
clauses are disapproved of", I don't know that I'd want to throw out
> 4. Restrictions due to law
> (a) If in a particular jurisdiction the distribution, modification or
> use of a work is restricted by law, then the work is not
> DFSG-free in that jurisdiction.
> (b) It is still DFSG-free in other jurisdictions, provided that those
> who control (directly or indirectly) the work and the conditions under
> which it is distributed, do not have the power to lift the
> restrictions other than by changing the nature of the work, and
> express a desire that the legal restrictions be lifted.
I object to the phrase "express a desire that the legal restrictions
be lifted" - I'd like to consider xyz crypto package free even if the
author heartily approves of the US crypto restrictions because, for
example, they allow his country to have a booming software crypto
> (c) In the case of restrictions due to patents, a work can in any case
> not be DFSG-free if those who control the work and the conditions
> under which it is distributed are software patent aggressors.
I _strongly_ object to this. In fact, I can't think of any possible
way to rephrase it that will satisfy me.
I would like to see some other section dealing with patent issues, but
only to the extent that (for example) Cygnus's latest real-time
embedded OS is free. (See the extent to which their patents are
licensed with the source code - I think that's a good dividing line).