Re: Termination clauses, was: Choice of venue
Brian Thomas Sniffen <email@example.com>:
> >> I'd be particularly interested to hear your comments on the asymmetry
> >> issue, which is most closely tied to a DFSG point:
> > Which DFSG point?
> 3. Derived Works: The license must allow modifications and derived
> works, and must allow them to be distributed under the same terms
> as the license of the original software.
> I can't take two different QPL'd works and combine them -- this
> doesn't make them non-free, but it should make us awfully suspicious.
> The patch clause would make combination difficult, conflicting choice
> of venue clauses would make it worrisome, but I don't have the right to
> give rights to my modifications to either initial author.
Two different QPL'd works are just like two works under different,
incompatible copyleft licences. It's bad, but not non-free, I think.
> Even if I'm only making changes to one QPL'd work, and own the rights
> to everything else involved, I can't distribute that under the same
> license as I received the code. I have to distribute it under a
> license where the *initial* author gets a proprietary license to my
> work, and that of other developers who come later.
I agree that this is bad, but does DFSG 3 forbid this? Perhaps it
does, but only if you assume some kind of implicit substitution where
the modifier replaces the author in the "same terms". I don't think
that's a particularly natural way to read it. So, I agree that
"asymmetry" is bad, but I find it a bit of a stretch to claim that
DFSG 3 says that.
If you want to try and formulate the "asymmetry" criterion you might
want to consider the case of a licence L that forced everyone who
distributes a modified version to make their modifications available
under a BSD licence to teachers, or some other class that may or may
not include the original author. What would be the "same terms" then?
(You could claim it's discrimination against the group of
non-teachers, but DFSG 5 is usually understood just to mean that
everyone must have the rights, not that it is forbidden to grant
additional rights to certain groups.)
DFSG 12. The licence must not force modifiers to grant rights over
their code that previous contributors have not granted to the