Re: Towards a new LPPL draft
On Tue, Jul 23, 2002 at 06:05:23PM -0500, Branden Robinson wrote:
> It doesn't matter whether the modification is easy or hard. I think the
> assertions of the Free Software Foundation and some of my fellow
> Debian developers are misguided in this respect. The DFSG says nothing
> about how inconvenient the copyright holder is permitted to make the
> acts of modification or redistribution.
Hmm... it does, by naming the GPL as an example license. The GPL has
three conditions on modification. Clause 2(a) does add inconvenience:
a) You must cause the modified files to carry prominent notices
stating that you changed the files and the date of any change.
Furthermore, 2(c) (too long to quote) actually restricts what kinds
of modifications you can make.
So there is some precedent for minor limitations on DFSG#3. In practice,
we accept these limitations as still being Free. (I'll add that they are
the reason I no longer use the GPL for my own code, however.)
> For one thing, this is statement of rationale, not a binding condition
> in any way. The DFSG is written sloppily and consists primarily of
> normative statements, a few sentences' worth of examples, a lone
> parenthetical exhortation not to take advantage of a particular clause
> of the DFSG, and a clause that has no binding force on anyone whatsoever
> (DFSG 10). (Maybe Bruce Perens just wanted ten clauses because it's a
> "round" number to our human, decimal minds.)
I think DFSG#10 does have binding force, by stating that those licenses
do in fact meet the Guidelines. Any intepretations that would contradict
that are therefore incorrect. Remember, these are Guidelines, not a
Definition. They were never intended to be watertight.
"I sense a disturbance in the force"
"As though millions of voices cried out, and ran apt-get."
(Anthony Towns about the Debian 3.0 release)
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