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Re: apache non-free?

On Fri, Dec 07, 2001 at 07:47:33AM -0500, Ben Collins wrote:
> If I take apache, add an extra line to it, compile it and call it
> apache, and some legal entity calls it derivation, I'll be shitting
> bricks.

You'd better get some load-bearing underwear.  :)

> I'm going to leave this alone though, since I can see this ending up
> being a difference of my sane, well thought opinion, and a screwy
> infested legal system that gives words more definitions than Webster
> did.

Yup.  I personally feel that if the Apache group doesn't interpret their
license in a non-free way -- and doesn't interpret it in a free way
*only* for Debian -- that there isn't a problem.

This is exactly the same reasoning that puts pine in non-free.  By the
letter of the license as almost everyone in the world understands it,
pine has a free, BSD'ish license.  But UWash -- the copyright holder --
doesn't see it that way.  They parse "permission to copy, modify, and
distribute" as permitting copying and distribution OR modification, but
not copying, modification, and distribution all together.  Of course,
they're being malicious and/or stupid and/or breathing deeply from the
crack pipe, but the outcome is that the way they choose to interpret
their license violates DFSG 3, so pine is not Free.

So, I'd assert that taking the interpretive intent of the licensor into
account is far from unprecedented in Debian.  Reasonable people can
disagree as to whether the Apache license is DFSG-free as written, but
since the Apache guys appear to have a DFSG-free interpretation of their
license at present, I'd say that makes it acceptable.  Should either
their license or their interpretation of it change, we'll need to take
another look at the situation.

G. Branden Robinson                |    Any man who does not realize that
Debian GNU/Linux                   |    he is half an animal is only half a
branden@debian.org                 |    man.
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |    -- Thornton Wilder

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