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Re: Ian's DFSG2 would harm Debian and Free Software

Dale Scheetz writes ("Re: Ian's DFSG2 would harm Debian and Free Software"):
> My position stems from the fact that the copyright is the author's legal
> authority to license the copyright material. That authority extends over,
> and only over the material, as written by the author.

The last time you said this I followed up - see below.  Did you read
that posting of mine ?  Do you still claim I'm wrong ?  If so I'll
find my references.

> We do not consider software as non-free when the copyright demands an
> unchanged copy accompany any and every copy of the copyright software.

Huh?  I think you missed a word.

> Ian is concerned because the original author can then incorporate those
> changes into a new version, released under a completely closed license,
> and effectively "steal" the work of the community for their own gain.

No, I'm not concerned about that.  The DFSG2 allows that (and the
DFSG1 may or may not).

If we want to forbid that we need to think a bit more, but I don't
think we do for the reasons you quote.

> While the need for patches for modification causes some logistical
> problems, we should never seek to simplify those logistics at the expense
> of freedom.

This is a red herring.

Please see my post below (and my recent other post about the patches


From: Ian Jackson <ian@chiark.greenend.org.uk>
To: Debian developers list <debian-devel@lists.debian.org>
Subject: Re: Draft new DFSG
Date: Thu, 26 Nov 1998 19:27:25 +0000 (GMT)

Dale Scheetz writes ("Re: Draft new DFSG"):
> Now, a copyright pertains to, and only to, that string of characters that
> was produced by the author, and which he has the legal rights to
> copyright. It is only that specific document that the author may
> copyright.
> In order to protect that copyright, and the license it supports, it is
> reasonable, no, even necessary, that the source so copyrighted remain
> unchanged. The changes proposed, or produced, by some other party can not
> be covered in said copyright simply because the license says so. Any new
> source produced from the original work with modifications provided by
> another party is not, and can not be, covered by the original copyright.

I think this is simply not true.  For starters, the copyright holder
can control creation of derivative works, which allows them to specify
the terms for ownard licencing by the licence used to create the

Furthermore, a derivative work has shared copyright, not copyright
only by the deriver.

If you still disagree I'll dig up references.


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