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Re: Mass bug filing: Cryptographic protection against modification

Zenaan Harkness <zen@freedbms.net> writes:

> On Fri, 2004-05-07 at 01:57, Goswin von Brederlow wrote:
>> Isaac To <kkto@csis.hku.hk> writes:
>> >>>>>> "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
>> > non-free.
>> You misunderstood me. Its all bits and bytes. Programms and data and
>> licenses and RFCs. But data is not equal data. Some data is different,
>> i.e. licenses. Otherwise there is no Debian.
> I thought the point of discussing whether the GPL is free or not is whether
> it can/ should be included "as a Free textual document (aka 'software')".
> And this is different from a specific instance of a license as distributed
> as a legal instrument with a(nother) piece of software in order to license
> that software, which for legal reasons needs to be kept intact.

I tried to point out that taking things to serious seriously backfires
but the irony did not get across (since it has some truth to it).

As I see it the intention of base-files to distribute the licenses is
to reduce the size every other Package while keeping the law. The
intention is clearly to improve free software and the spirit of the SC
and DFSG is kept even if that makes Debian only 99.999999% free in the
strictest sense. The alternative would be to increase the size of
every deb or more radically rewrite every software with a metafree

The same can be said for certificates that are non modifiable in
nature, which purpose is to be non modifiable. The intention of
distributing them is to help the users and to keep free software as
functional as possible.

> The GPL's preamble, _as a literary work_ (aka software), is not Free,
> due to the FSF's (dis)allowed freedoms with respect to that textual work.

But should that stop us? Should this 'exception' be obvious or
explicitly stated? Should the FSF be asked to, well, GPL the GPL so to
speak? Can we get back to work on sarge? :)

> But if it were free, we still couldn't go modifying versions of that license
> that come with specific software, since that would be illegally changing the
> license of that software without the author's permission.
> Hopefully that really clears things up :)
> Zenaan

I hope.


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