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Re: Request for build: mpg123. - why I think its free

On Sat, Mar 30, 2002 at 05:45:04PM -0500, Elliott Liggett wrote:
> Having recently visited the web site for mpg123, and compiled it on 
> several computers, I can tell you that it is just as free as Debian 
> Linux.

Sure, if you change the definition of 'free' as necessary to suit your 

We already have a definition of 'free' that we use: the DFSG.  The 
mpg123 license fails the DFSG, therefore the package goes in non-free.

> True, his license restricts usage to non-commercial. However, the GPL 
> license which Debian Linux is under restricts it from being distributed 
> without source code, and under any license besides GPL (hence the 
> 'viral' mode of GPL).

And use is a far more critical freedom to restrict.  Indeed, the mpg123
license ALSO imposes almost all of the same restrictions on relicensing
that the GPL does, in ADDITION to imposing restrictions on use.  It's
hard to make a case that the mpg123 license gives users as many freedoms
as the GPL does.

Oh, and there's no such thing as "Debian Linux".  The Linux kernel is 
distributed under the GPL.  The Debian operating system, which is called 
Debian GNU/Linux, is a collection of software distributed under a 
variety of different licenses.

> Michael Hipp is simply avoiding the hassles of licensing by declaring 
> his package as 'non-commercial'.

And by law, he has a right to do so; but that doesn't mean the license 
he's chosen is free.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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