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Re: New DFSG Draft revision #3

> Chris Lawrence wrote:
> > On Jan 14, Darren Benham wrote:
> > >      The license may extend this restriction to third-party libraries
> > >      linked to the software at compile time, run time or both. It may not
> > >      apply this restriction to software that merely resides on the same
> > >      system or distribution as the licensed software. _<OR>_ The license
> > >      can restrict the third-party libraries used in creating modified or
> > >      derived works only on the basis that the licenses must be compatible
> > >      with it's own. It may not restrict software that merely resides on the
> > >      same system or distribution as the licensed software. 
> > I don't understand what this is getting at... are you trying to say
> > that the software package may require that it be linked only against
> > DFSG-compliant libraries?

Or GPL compatible libraries, or whatever. Yes.

> >  If so, this is well beyond even the GPL's
> > requirements (or else you couldn't run any GNU software on Unix
> > implementations unless you linked it against GNU libc).  Maybe I'm
> > missing what you're trying to say here.

No, you're not. This lets it extend to all linked libraries, without
requiring any exceptions for "libraries distributed with the OS"
or anything.  There aren't any licenses that need this as far as I know.

Perhaps this wouldn't be a Good Thing, however?

Is software non-free just because you can't run it under Windows? Because
you can't link it with GPLed software? Because you can't link it with
non-GPLed (or non-GPLable) software?

Why should the answer to one of these be different to the answer to

> > >      The license may require that a reasonable attempt be made to make the
> > >      source code available along with executables of the software. <Not
> > >      specificly part of the old DFSG> 
> > "along with"?  How about "in addition to", to include the GPL's
> > "separate source with reasonable copying fee" (paraphrasing here)
> > exception.  "along with" implies conjunction; "in addition to" doesn't
> > carry that connotation.  Or a separate sentence to specifically permit
> > the GPL exception (e.g. This may include a requirement for the
> > licensee to provide the source code for any executables for a
> > reasonable copying fee.)
> Do you feel that the clause, as stated, would make the GPL 
> nonDFSG-compatable?

Erm. I'll put my hand up saying that I do. :-/

This is more meant to say "If you distributed executables, the license might
require you to go to some reasonable effort to make sources available to
people too."

The point of the `reasonable' there, btw, is that it lets us change our
minds later.  Having sources always accompany binaries isn't reasonable
atm, but when bandwidth costs hit 5c per gigabit and everyone gets
/everything/ from the Internet (even the Europeans!) maybe it will be. In
particular, deciding that requiring source to be available for 6 months
is okay, but 7 months is non-free and Evil seems a little bit dubious.


Anthony Towns <aj@humbug.org.au> <http://azure.humbug.org.au/~aj/>
I don't speak for anyone save myself. PGP encrypted mail preferred.

``Like the ski resort of girls looking for husbands and husbands looking
  for girls, the situation is not as symmetrical as it might seem.''

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