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Re: Interesting Licensing Issue -- Crafty

On Mon, May 03, 1999 at 02:27:13PM -0500, Paul Serice wrote:
> Can Dr. Hyatt, the original author of Crafty, restrict use of the
> program such that he is the only person who can enter the original
> program into a chess competition and still have a license that is Debian
> free?

> Can Dr. Hyatt forbid any derived works from being entered into a chess
> competition and still be Debian free?

> My sense of "right" tells me that Professor Hyatt's restrictions are
> fair and reasonable.

Sure it is. A fair and reasonable license can still be non-free.

> 5. No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups 
>    "The license must not discriminate against any person or group of
>    persons."
> I believe this is provision is also met.  First, no one to whom Crafty
> is distributed can enter the program into a tournament.

But the original author can. This gives the author a freedom of relevance
only to himself. I say "of relevance" because I think it is relevant to
section 6.

> Second, this restriction is simply in place to prevent unethical persons
> from defrauding the chess tournaments, and I have to believe the DFSG 
> allows licenses that prohibit fraud.

The DFSG does not define ethic. The DFSG does not define fraud.
> 6. No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor
>      "The license must not restrict anyone from making use of the
>      program in a specific field of endeavor. For example, it may not
>      restrict the program from being used in a business, or from being
>      used for genetic research."
> I'm just including this paragraph so I can so that it is off point.  A
> chess tournament is not a "field of endeavor."  If someone would like to
> argue that a chess tournament is a field of endeavor then I would argue
> that Crafty passes muster for the same reasons it passes muster under
> paragraph 5 above.

I think you are completely wrong here. Indeed, I get the impression that you
are arguing this way because you like to see crafty remaining in main. But
your interpretation is completely unsubstantiated. First, yes, a chess
contest IS a field of endeavour. Second, point 5 and 6 are quite different,
and I would like to hear how you apply the reasons in 5 on this point.

If using a derived work on the same chess contest is unappealing, the
conditions on the contest should be changed, not the software license. A
license is almost never a good moral playground (remember the "microsoft" or
"south africa police" clauses).


`Rhubarb is no Egyptian god.' Debian http://www.debian.org   finger brinkmd@ 
Marcus Brinkmann              GNU    http://www.gnu.org     master.debian.org
Marcus.Brinkmann@ruhr-uni-bochum.de                        for public  PGP Key
http://homepage.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/Marcus.Brinkmann/       PGP Key ID 36E7CD09

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