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Re: DFSG v2 Draft #5

On Mon, Jan 25, 1999 at 08:48:36AM -0500, Raul Miller wrote:
> Darren Benham <gecko@debian.org> wrote:
> > 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.]

Umm, upon re-reading the GPL, I get a little bit sceptical about this
section 3.1. If I want to modify a GPLed work, the GPL makes the following

  "2. You may modify your copy or copies of the Program or any portion
  of it, thus forming a work based on the Program, and copy and
  distribute such modifications or work under the terms of Section 1
  above, provided that you also meet all of these conditions:"

      "c) If the modified program normally reads commands interactively
      when run, you must cause it, when started running for such
      interactive use in the most ordinary way, to print or display an
      announcement including an appropriate copyright notice and a
      notice that there is no warranty (or else, saying that
      you provide a warranty) and that users may redistribute the
      program under these conditions, and telling the user how to
      view a copy of this License.  (Exception: if the Program itself
      is interactive but does not normally print such an announcement, 
      your work based on the Program is not required to print
      an announcement.)"

Furthermore, the appendix "How to Apply These Terms to Your New Programs"

  "If the program is interactive, make it output a short notice like this
  when it starts in an interactive mode:

      Gnomovision version 69, Copyright (C) 19yy name of author
      Gnomovision comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY; for details type
      `show w'. This is free software, and you are welcome to redistribute
      it under certain conditions; type `show c' for details.

IMHO this restriction is much stronger than what 3.1 allows ("The license
may require such notices to be displayed: ... wherever the modified/derived 
software displays copyrights"). In the above example, the GPL would forbid
to remove the copyright notice that's displayed after executing the
program, while the proposed 3.1 would require that I have the right to do

IMHO this makes the GPL non-free.

On a separate note, since this started the discussion about this point,
(I must sound like an advocatus diaboli ;-): What happened if the Zope
people would replace their "attribution button" with a copyright notice,
and modified Zope so that this notice (e.g. "Zope Copyright (C) 1999
Digital Creations, www.zope.org") would be displayed on the first page of
every session ? Couldn't they use a similar clause like the GPL to 
reject any modification of Zope that would remove this copyright notice ?
Zope is certainly a program that "reads commands interactively when run",
so they could mostly copy this requirement from the GPL.


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