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Re: Social Contract GR's Affect on sarge

On Mon, Apr 26, 2004 at 11:42:05PM -0500, Manoj Srivastava wrote:
> > That's nice. Why do you think it's okay to make special cases like
> > that?
> 	You are actually going back to the licencing the license
>  idiocy?  You are now trolling, and, if you truly do not know, go read
>  debian-legal archives.

I don't think it's "idiocy"; there's a reasonable argument here.

Distinguish between "a license" and "the terms software is licensed under".
I think it's easy to see why we can't take a program, modify the license
text included with it, and redistribute it: we'd be misrepresenting the
licensing terms.

I think this is in the same category, for example, as not removing the
author's name.  We allow licenses to prohibit that--despite the fact that
it's a restriction on modification--because we agree that credit to the
original author is important.  I don't think allowing either of these
restrictions is strange or controversial.

However, it's easy to argue that the *license text* should be modifiable,
as long as it's not represented to be the terms of the software.  (For
example, taking a license, modifying it, and then distributing the result
independently, or as the terms for a new program.)  I think an argument that
the SC and the DFSG require this is reasonable.  License texts are software;
the GPL (as a text) is not DFSG-free.

I'm not arguing that this should change.  I don't think there would be any
gain in that; it would increase the confusion level substantially (license
discussions get confusing enough without bringing meta-licenses into it!),
and it would only increase license proliferation.

I can understand the argument that this is an "exception" to the DFSG being
made that doesn't strictly have to be, though.

Glenn Maynard

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