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Re: ELM Copyright

> Note the words "reasonable copying fee", and "You may not charge a fee
> for this Package itself".  I consider this language equivalent to that
> in the Elm license.  If you reject Elm then you must also reject the
> Artistic License, for the same reason.

I don't think licenses that allow for a "reasonable copying fee" really
jeopardize the goals of the DFSG.  

We're never going to violate such a license in reality -- it is extremely
unlikely, if not impossible, that anybody is going to be selling the Debian
distribution for more than a "reasonable copying fee", which is a pretty
vague term.

Granted, some people may charge some exorbitant prices if they base a
value-added specialty-market distribution on top of Debian.  But it's not
like they are going to be a legal target or anything, since they can
truthfully argue that the extra cost is for the value added part.  So
it would not really be worthwhile for somebody who felt their license
was violated to sue, because they would lose in court.

So, in reality, this type of a license will never give rise to a 
situation where fingers are pointed and lawsuits are threatened.  That's
what we are trying to avoid with the DFSG.

Personally, I think the GPL license is actually more troublesome from a
legal standpoint, since it is more restrictive and also quite vague on
some points.  But the "virus-like" nature of it really does help us.
I put all my stuff under the GPL and LGPL, because I believe in Free
Software and like the slight impediment it gives to people who want
to make a fast buck at the expense of their users.

My feeling is that we should draw a fairly hard line on the licenses,
but not be overly restrictive.  We could force everybody to put
their code in the public domain or use the BSD license, but would we
really gain anything from that?  We have to turn a blind eye to some
of these license restrictions that are not really restrictions in

(just my two cents, feel free to flame me)


 - Jim

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