Re: DFSG v2 Draft #5
Darren Benham <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> This document is free software; you may redistribute it verbatim in
> any format. You may modify this document and redistribute it in any
> form so long as you change the title of this document. You may use
> parts of this document for any purpose.
This seems to conflict, in scope, with 1.1 -- I'll pose a couple other
examples where I'm not sure about 1.1 once I get there.
> The Debian Free Software Guidelines define what it means for software
> to be free as far as the Debian project is concerned. Software that
> follows these guidelines is termed "DFSG-free".
No problem here, but contrast it with point 2.2.
> 1.1. Application
> These guidelines are intended to be applied to software programs, that
> is, machine-readable programs that instruct a computer how to perform
> specific tasks, its source code, and any other items included with the
> original source distribution.
So a set of GIMP bump maps is not software? How about wave tables which
represent midi instruments for some sound card?
[bump maps can be any graphical image loadable by the gimp. wave tables
can be sound samples. The point being that the difference between code
and data depends on your point of view, and that as technology is developed
we're going to find our point of view drifting.]
If we're going to have some kinds of files which can be redistributed
without meeting these guidelines, I'd prefer to have them explicitly
described -- and then we still need guidelines for what kind of license
we expect on those files.
> 2.1. Use
> Anyone must be able to use the software in any way without paying a
> fee or royalty or performing special actions.
This gets confusing if you consider modification and distribution as
forms of use.
> 2.2. Source Code
> Source code must be freely available.
Is this a recursive reference to this document?
[I think the point is that the source code for a DFSG-free executable
must also be DFSG-free. However, there's no definition for source code,
so cases like the original source is compiled into unreadable C are
going to be ambiguous.]
> 3.1. Notices of Authorship
> The license may require the copyright, license, and any associated
> disclaimers be prominently displayed in the modified software or any
> derived software. The license may require such notices to be
> displayed: (in order of preference)
> * wherever the modified/derived software displays copyrights
> * in the source code or documentation
> * in advertising materials (deprecated)
> <Not part of the old DFSG>
> <during execution of the software -- removed. Will this affect any
> current licenses?>
This seems to imply that the emacs license can't prohibit someone
from removing its copyright display at load time. [Because that's
where the >>unmodified<< software displays copyrights.]
> 3.3. License of Derived Works
> The license can require modified and derived software be distributed
> under the same license or the general requirement "any compatible
You might want to define "compatible". [Remember how the old Qt license
said it was compatible with the GPL, even though the converse wasn't