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

On Thu, 3 Dec 1998, Craig Sanders wrote:

> i don't know about Ian or anyone else, but my objection to licenses that
> only allow mods to be distributed as patches is that they unneccessarily
> restrict freedom in two ways:
> firstly, they make it an enormous hassle to fork the source code....so
> much hassle that it isn't worth doing. sometimes forking is necessary
> and/or useful. sometimes it is done for good reasons, sometimes for "bad"
> reasons....the reason for forking doesn't matter, it's a freedom we should
> be able to take for granted with free software.
> secondly (and more importantly), they prevent the code from being re-used
> in another free software project. this is not just a hassle, it's a fairly
> severe curtailment of free software freedom.

And what about licenses that require you to redistribute the whole,
unmodified source or else distribute your "derived work" under a different
name? Forking the code is be easy, since only the name has to be changed.
And you can also use the code in your own project since that obviously has
a different name. Whether such a license "contaminates" your program or
not depends on the other terms of such a license, however.

> that said, i am NOT in favour of changing the DFSG at this moment
> in time. i think the reasons for debian accepting the patch clause
> compromise are as valid today as they were last june.

<aol>me too</aol>

> i can accept the need for this compromise, but i don't have to like
> it...and i think debian should work hard to convince people that doing
> this is a bad idea.

I agree here. It should be discouraged but not forbidden.

rd31-144: 10:50pm  up 45 min,  5 users,  load average: 0.06, 0.06, 0.04

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