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Re: MaintainerDatabase Copyright



srivasta@datasync.com (Manoj Srivastava)  wrote on 04.10.97 in <87en61z09r.fsf@tiamat.datasync.com>:

> 	Let me summarize here:
>  a) The data contains information about people who do not wish to make
>     it public (they checked box 1)
>  b) The data contains information that will not be part of the xearth
>     file (it does not contain any email addresses, in the future it
>     may contain other data as well)
>  c) Some people have expressed a concern about having it published in
>     a form that legally allows modified copies to be distributed.
>     Other people have no objection to having it distributed under a
>     licence that allows the data to be mutable.
>
> 	Firstly, I do not believe the GPL is valid for non-programs.

It's been used for books, apparently without problems.

However, this is a data collection; it's different from a copyright law  
point of view, so maybe that _is_ a reason to handle it differently. It's  
also a reason to make control by copyright a doubtful proposition - it's  
very unclear if that would hold up in a court.

I'd say, don't even try.

(As to the GPL rights: I think not allowing people to use variants of the  
GPL is a serious mistake. It wouldn't be the first mistake the FSF made.  
Anyway, people can always build changed variants by reference anyway - see  
Perl for a simple example (combined GPL and Artistic).)

> 	Since the GPL requires full disclosure of the sources, it also
>  prevents collection of data under points a and b.

I don't see how. You might as well argue that my compiler is a part of the  
program source.

The extra data is not needed to produce the output, in fact, from looking  
at the output, you can't tell the difference. That's stronger than with  
the compiler.

I believe this argument is (extremely) bogus.

> 	Finally, I have seen nothing that addresses concerns people
>  have under point c, apart from opinions that the the people offering
>  the opinion did not share the concern. This is not a solution.

Firstly, I'm far from convinced that we actually _need_ a solution. Those  
people can always opt for "don't publish". (On the other hand, this is  
hardly an option for people who want less restrictions.)

Secondly, I'm not convinced that we have any legal ground on which we can  
prevent such changes.

And thirdly, the PGP solution seems quite sufficient to make changes  
obvious.

> 	If you can address these issues, I will consider changing the
>  licence.

How about you addressing our concerns?


MfG Kai


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