Re: Choice of venue, was: GUADEC report
Branden Robinson writes:
> The DFSG does not have a clause which mandates a license must not restrict
> the usage of a work by all recipients. Does it need one?
As a non-DD, I would say it should have one, with perhaps one
exception as described below. That kind of restriction is probably
not enforceable in the US (but may be in states that passed UCITA),
but is enforceable in other countries that consider copying from disk
to executable memory to be a right reserved to copyright owners. This
would be one reason that the proposed Dictator Test would not be
duplicative of a "no restrictions on use" clause (at least in one
suggested phrasing, where the test referred to rights outside those
granted to copyright holders).
So why "should have one" rather than "needs one"? Many people are
fond of emphasizing the "Guidelines" part of DFSG, and I hope that
everyone would agree that a restriction on use is non-free. Yet there
are always some who disagree, so it would hopefully avoid arguments to
The exception I mentioned would be for web application-type software.
I am somewhat biased since the free software I write and maintain is
in that category, but I think it is justifiable for a license to
require that someone who makes a modified version of free software
operable by others also make the modified source available to those
users. The hard balance there is between copyleft-style code sharing
and the burden imposed on operators of kiosks or embedded devices,
where users may not care about the source code (or who may request it
en masse to protest unrelated issues).
The right balance between those two has not occurred to me, and I am
not sure a license based in US copyright law alone could even enforce
that, so perhaps that exception should not be made.