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Re: Qt Freed!

David Damerell <damerell@chiark.greenend.org.uk> writes:

> Additionally, if you produce a patch, it must be;
>      b. The patch must be explicitly licensed by the following clauses
>      without additional restriction:
    They could use different wording here.  Why call it a restriction?
    The license they are suggesting for the patch is actually less
    restrictive than the license for Qt proper (from a BSD point-of-view).
> >From the DFSG:
>     3. Derived Works
>        The license must allow modifications and derived works, and must
>        allow them to be distributed under the same terms as the license
>        of the original software.

If you ask me, this is a buglet in the DFSG/OSD.  The problem is that
we now have one license, with two different sets of terms/conditions
for the patches and the original tarball.  When Bruce and the Debian
developers wrote the DFSG, I don't think we took this into

I think that if a lawyer looked at it - he would say the derived work
(patch + Qt tarball) still falls under the same license terms as the
original work (Qt tarball only).  There's only one license.  But it's
got an "if" clause in the middle of it.  The "if" clause refers to the
contents of the patch file - but the patch file by itself doesn't
compromise the entire derived work.  Therefore, the whole license
applies to the derived work (patch + Qt tarball) - and uses the same
terms.  Call it a "legal loophole".

Given that, I think the Qt license is DFSG compliant.  But it's as
close to not being DFSG compliant as they could possibly make it.
It's obvious that they got a lawyer to analyze the DFSG guidelines,
and to write something that would only just qualify.

I think we could clarify the DFSG/OSD a bit more in regards to this.
We haven't had this situation before, so it's a bit odd.

> I have no idea why Eric Raymond considers this not a violation of the
> Open Source Definition.

As I stated above, I think it legally qualifies.  But then again, IANAL.

Bruce Perens said on Slashdot:

   I'd also consider changing the license of modifications restriction to
   be no more restrictive rather than same. But those changes will not
   get made without a long public debate, don't worry.

   I personally do not object to the Original Developer Has More Rights
   Than You Regarding Your Modifications issue, which also applies to the
   Netscape Public License.

I personally tend to agree with him.  Obviously, ESR does as well.

The QPL and NPL weren't around when the DFSG was created, so we
haven't really debated whether or not we want to allow licenses that
give the original developers rights over your modifications.


 - Jim

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