Re: A possible weakened rephrase of clause 5d [was: Re: GPL v3 Draft 3- text and comments]
On Thu, 12 Apr 2007 00:46:06 +0200, Francesco Poli <email@example.com>
OK, this is my attempt to rephrase clause 5d in a form that is weak
enough to be less harmful than clause 2c of GPLv2:
~~~~~~~~~~~~ begin proposed text ~~~~~~~~~~~~
d) If the Program has interactive user interfaces which display
legal notices, this feature must be preserved in each interactive
interface that is also present in the work. In this subsection, an
interactive interface is said to "display legal notices" if it
includes a convenient feature that displays an appropriate
copyright notice, and tells the user that there is no warranty for
the work (unless you provide a warranty), that licensees may convey
the work under this License, and how to view a copy of this
~~~~~~~~~~~~~ end proposed text ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
What does "each interactive interface" mean? I.e., what delimiters an
Does a program with more than one window have more than one interface?
What if it is a web application with several clients? That each open
windows? (This is not specified in the GPLv3 draft either, but I don't
it is at all obvious.)
Anyway, consider this case:
Program A has a graphical user interface with an "about" feature showing
notices. It also has some very clever algorithms in its belly.
Program B wants to use the algorithms, but cares not for the interface of
Program B has an interactive textual user interface.
(Can the *feature* be preserved when going from graphical to textual?)
Program B extracts the algorithms and uses them, but dumps the interface.
Should Program B preserve the legal notices? Obviously yes.
Now the people at Program B Software first extract the clever algorithms
and distributes them, alone, under the original license, as allowed by
Then they use *this* distribution in program B. The program they use has
user interface at all, and no feature displaying legal notices, so
program B isn't
required to have it either.
This problem is inherent to linking a requirement relating to an entire
to only parts of that program (here: the user interface). Anybody can
parts and distribute the rest, thereby removing the requirement.
Your version does alleviate this problem. Clause 5d of GPLv3draft3, as you
does. It requires that legal notices be inserted if deriving form a program
with no user interface (but not from one with a user interface but without
legal notices). It's not necessarily the same notices as the original
just the default GPL notices.
Lasse R. Nielsen - firstname.lastname@example.org
'Faith without judgement merely degrades the spirit divine'
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