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Re: [htdig-dev] Licensing issues...

On Mon, Aug 02, 2004 at 01:59:59PM -0500, Branden Robinson wrote:
> On Wed, Jul 28, 2004 at 05:16:36PM -0600, Joel Baker wrote:
> [on the 4-clause BSD license's compelled-advertising clause being
> GPL-incompatible]
> > As a point of note, RMS has said that this interpretation is considered to
> > be a bug in the GPL, and that the FSF has no current intention of pursuing
> > violations of this, because it wasn't intended (they still, of course,
> > recommend going to a 3 or even 2 clause variant of the license).
> > 
> > I believe I still have the email somewhere in my archives if necessary, but
> > to date it hasn't been terribly relevant.
> That's useful to know, but not dispositive for Debian's purposes.  That the
> FSF regards this as a violation they can overlook doesn't mean other people
> using the GNU GPL won't, and there are many.  (Harald Welte of the
> netfilter Project is just one example of recent prominence.)
> The DFSG-freeness of a particular license as interpreted by a particular
> licensor on a particular work is almost always the most important
> evaluation that Debian has to make.
> For further reading:
> http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=17409
> http://lwn.net/Articles/95006/

Correct in all ways, and I apologize if I wasn't explicit enough. It was
intended to be an informative point of interest / good thing to know, not a
declaration that there weren't issues at all. Sorry about that.

Really, there are so many good reasons to drop that clause that I don't
grasp why some folks refuse to (when asked; I certainly understand why they
wouldn't necessarily care enough to bother if nobody has ever requested it
and they haven't gotton to making sure that ti's doable for their code).

Sadly, I have run into a few. Some in distressingly pivotal locations.

(There is the counter-argument that if the clause is a no-op due to laws
already enforcing it, as is often argued when asking to drop it, that it is
not a 'meaningful' extra restriction, and shouldn't be considered to make
it incompatible, but that's really a huge, nasty can of worms I'd rather
not even get into, in part because I don't pretend to know enough to
grasp which jurisdictions it might apply in.)
Joel Baker <fenton@debian.org>                                        ,''`.
Debian GNU/kNetBSD(i386) porter                                      : :' :
                                                                     `. `'
http://nienna.lightbearer.com/                                         `-

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