Re: DRAFT: debian-legal summary of the QPL
On Tue, Jul 13, 2004 at 11:05:17PM +0100, Matthew Garrett wrote:
> >"Send it to a third party" and "reveal your identity" are just as readily
> >read as non-free from DFSG#1 as "pet a cat" and "distribution only on CD".
> >If the former can't be considered non-free from DFSG#1, then I don't think
> >the latter can, either; DFSG#1 would be rendered meaningless.
> So why is "You must give the source to the recipient of the binaries"
> not equally objectionable from this point of view?
It's a restriction whose benefits to free software are believed to outweigh
the costs. Of course, this is a judgement call. The alternative to being
able to make that judgement call is requiring that either all or no
restrictions are allowed (beyond a literal "fee"), and that's not a useful
alternative; one allows such things as arbitrary termination and "do two laps
around the block before distributing", and the other prohibits far too much,
including things which are widely agreed to be free.
> >Yes, there's interpretation involved. The DFSG is, as we all know, a set
> >of guidelines; it must be interpreted to have any meaning at all, and
> >debian-legal is the list on which that interpretation is done.
> debian-legal is the list on which some people offer their
> interpretations. It has no official standing or status.
You say that a lot, even though no d-legal regular is claiming otherwise.
The simple fact is that the DFSG must be interpreted to be useful, and that
interpretation must happen somewhere; currently, that place is here.