Re: Transitive closure of licenses
Richard Braakman wrote:
> On Tue, Jul 23, 2002 at 08:06:29AM -0600, Joe Moore wrote:
>> What's wrong with the conditional statement (unproven assertion:)
>> "The LPPL-1.3 is DFSG-free, but only when applied to software which
>> the file-renaming requirement easy"
> Well, one of the properties of free software is that you can change it
I thought the primary benefit was to have unending discussions about license
> Consider a port of an LPPL'd program to a limited architecture, where
> one of the space-optimizing changes has a side effect of making it much
> harder to rename files. (For example, suppose the standard filenames
> are tokenized in some way, and the encoding for nonstandard filenames
> is too bulky to be useful.)
I'd say this port is a derived work, which does not have the "easy renaming"
feature, and is therefore not DFSG-free.
> The resulting program would not be DFSG-free, even though the license
> didn't change! This is independent of the license used for the
> modifications themselves. I think this lack of "transitive closure" is
> against the spirit of DFSG 3. It creates limits on what kinds of
> derived works you can make without wandering into non-free space.
Are all derived works from DFSG-free packages DFSG-free?
No. The BSD network stack is DFSG-free. But Microsoft's implementation of
it is not.
> Hmm, I thought of a perhaps more practical example that also
> illustrates my desire for transitive closure. What if you take a piece
> of code from an LPPL'ed work and use it in another project? This other
> project might lack any facility for remappping filenames. Should it be
> required to add a remapping facility to a project that doesn't
> otherwise need it, just to satisfy an allegedly free license?
If the derived work is licensed under the LPPL, but does not provide an
"easy" remapping facility, then the derived work is not DFSG-free.
>> This is essentially what is said about the GFDL, "It's DFSG-free only
>> if no options are used in the document"
> That's different: it's a condition on the license, not on what it
> covers. A derived work can only become non-free if extra restrictions
> are added (such as marking new text as an Invariant Section).
I don't see the difference.
~/my_document.txt is licensed under GFDL, with no options. It is DFSG-free.
~/your_document.txt is a derived work, where you have taken my_document.txt
and added an invariant section. your_document.txt is not DFSG-free.
Note that the license on my_document.txt has not changed, and is identical
to the license on your_document.txt. The difference is that
your_document.txt has content that invokes non-free clauses of the GFDL.
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