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Re: Mass bug filing: Cryptographic protection against modification

>>>>> "Goswin" == Goswin von Brederlow <brederlo@informatik.uni-tuebingen.de> writes:

    Goswin> But I see data as being different, like legal documents that
    Goswin> must be kept intact at all cost to ensure the freedom of the
    Goswin> rest,

You are confusing two concepts.  License of a software describes how the
program can be distributed.  The license may specify that if you make a
derivative work, or give the program to others, you must use a license with
at least as much freedom.  Which is exactly what is done by GPL, and I think
very few in Debian will think that this make the license or software

But the license has another use: to be reused for other software projects.
Then the license is copied or perhaps modified, without the software being
copied or modified.  The point of dispute is that the GPL license says that
it cannot be modified, which is only meaningful for this use case.  It
really cannot be considered DSFG free in any reasonable sense.

I think RMS makes that decision because he thinks that the license is unlike
software.  Instead it is a manifesto, advocating free software.  So he
doesn't want his words to be replaced when other people use his license.  I
don't know whether that is a reasonable excuse, though.

    Goswin> or docuents describing a standard that would change/corrupt the
    Goswin> standard by being edited (which very loosly might extend to RFCs
    Goswin> but requiring a rename on edit would be right[tm]).

This is again very weak defense.  Currently there is a canonical source for
RFCs that everybody knows about.  Any dispute can easily be resolved by
going to ietf.org and see what the standards actually reads.  The current
"no edit" rule serves only one purpose: to prevent others from using its
"Intelligence Property" to write another similar standard.  I find this
purpose of very doubtful merit.

    Goswin> I don't see firmware falling in that same cathegory since that
    Goswin> just a programm thats executed on another CPU (which makes no
    Goswin> difference at all, being excuted is not part of the GPL).

If the license of the firmware does not allow modification (or even reverse
engineering), or the firmware data does not provide a license at all, the
answer is quite simple: non-free has a place for it if Debian may ship it
legally, otherwise it must reside in obscured web sites and hopefully the
copyright holder will never sue.


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