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Re: Draft new DFSG - r1.4

Steve Greenland <stevegr@debian.org> wrote:
> If anybody cares, my opinion is that both are acceptable. License
> requirements that make it difficult or awkward to distribute or use
> software don't make it unfree. 

Er.. license requirements that make software difficult to distribute can
indeed make it nonfree.  For example, if the license says "you can only
distribute this software on Tuesday", we wouldn't be able to legally
distribute it without making structural changes -- and I don't think
many cdrom vendors would want to touch it.

License requirements which affect use in some fashion which is independent
of copying and distribution ("shrinkwrap licenses") are rather dubious,
and probably won't stand up in court.  However, given that we've
usually tried to live within the restrictions imposed by the author
(both formal and informal restrictions), I think it's probably a good
idea to not distribute software if we think that people using it
freely would upset the author.

[Yeah, sometimes our not distributing software upsets the author,
but I do not see this as "terrorism", or even as a bad thing, as long
as our reasons are good.  To me, good reasons to not distribute are:
author doesn't want it distributed, author won't let us distribute under
a license that we feel everyone can easily comply with, problems with
the software.]


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