Re: Towards a new LPPL draft
On Tue, 23 Jul 2002, Mittelbach, Frank wrote:
> can you do me the favor and try to clearify for me when in your opinion
> the DSFG 4 clause is applicable for a license.
You asked for Branden's opinion, which I hope he'll give. I'll add mine.
DFSG 4 has 3 sentences, the first two of which are pretty clear (and don't
apply in the case where source=binary). The third is durned ambiguous,
which is at least one reason we recommend against it.
"The license may require derived works to carry a different name or
version number from the original software."
What does it mean to "carry a name or version number". This is not
generally applied to filenames, but to package names and output from the
"foo -version" or whatever is used to identify the package.
> Suppose you have a program source foo.c with some license.
> Suppose this license "restricts" foo.c from being modified but allows
> distribution of foo.c
> plus a patch file, e.g. foo.dif and allows to patch foo.c at built time,
> patch < foo.dif
> gcc foo
> NOW: would it be acceptable for the license to disallow distribution of the
> modified built
No way. Sentence 2 of DFSG4 explicitly requires distribution of the
modified binary to be allowed.
> and prevent distribution of
> foo.c + foo.dif + foo (patched built)
> and prevent distribution of
> foo (patched built only)
Clearly not a free license if this is prohibited. foo.c + foo.dif +
foo(patched built) would be the normal distribution mechanism for
> The license may restrict source-code from being distributed in
> modified form _only_ if the license allows the distribution of
> "patch files" with the source code for the purpose of modifying
> the program at build time.
The sentence after that is even more important. "The license must
explicitly permit distribution of software built from modified source
> I don't know if you use LaTeX or TeX but assuming you do to some extent,
> what exactly do you consider "source" and what "built" in case of a LaTeX
> work like varioref consisting of the files
My opinion only - I would accept either of:
1) Source is what's in the source tree, "built" is what's executed at
runtime, which may be a different tree. For script files, the compiler is
named 'cp' (or maybe 'patch').
2) Some packages have no distinction between source and binary, and can
only meet DFSG by allowing patched source to be distributed.
> In other words, there is (normally) no "binary" in the TeX/LaTeX world but
> only "source".
> So when applying DSFG#4's patch condition: would it be okay to have a
> license that forbits to change overcite.sty and only allows distributing
> derived works by distributing
> overcite.sty + overcite.dif
No. The result of the patch must be distributable. If you allow
orig-src/overcite.sty and patches/overcite.dif AND
(patched)runthis/overcite.sty to be distributed, we're looking good.
You CAN require that distributors make pristine source and patches
available in addition to the patched "binaries", but you can't disallow
distribution of the modified software.
Mark Rafn email@example.com <http://www.dagon.net/>
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