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Re: Patches (was Re: Draft new DFSG - r1.4)

Richard Braakman wrote:

> Chris Waters wrote:
> > There is nothing I'm aware of that you cannot do with a patch-only
> > license; you just can't necessarily do it in a convenient manner.

> By the same token, you can do all of these things with a binary-only
> package; it's just very difficult.  (Disassemble it first and keep
> the disassembled code in CVS, etc.)

Binary-only PACKAGE?  Do you perhaps mean a binary-only LICENSE?  (We're
discussing licensing here!)  In the case of a binary-only license, no
you *CAN'T* do all that.  If you could, it wouldn't be a binary-only

If a package *COMES* as a binary, but the license allows disassembly,
and redistribution of the disassembled code (with modification, OC),
then I'd say it should pass DFSG (other things being equal) as soon as
someone does the disassembly and provides a source package (DFSG1 *does*
require source).  I think that would be a stupid way to distribute a
package in the first place, I can't imagine anyone distributing only
binaries but allowing redistribution of the source, but if it *did*
happen, I don't see anything wrong with it, as long as the terms for
distribution of the disassembled source match the DFSG in other

Bottom line:  I think that rejecting patch-only licenses at this point
is more likely to result in a fork of the Debian project than anything
else.  I think that would be a Bad Thing.
Chris Waters   xtifr@dsp.net | I have a truly elegant proof of the
or   cwaters@systems.DHL.COM | above, but it is too long to fit into
http://www.dsp.net/xtifr     | this .signature file.

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