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Re: [DOM Java bindings] Can a W3C recommandation be free?

Stephane Bortzmeyer <bortzmeyer@debian.org> writes:

> I am not sure we can put the Java bindings in "main". The licence 
> <http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-DOM-Level-1/copyright-notice.html> says
> "No right to create modifications or derivatives is granted pursuant
> to this license." which seems to exclude freedom to modify.

Pretty clearly indeed.

I don't think that is free. It is essential for freedom of software
that I can change the software if I want it to do something slightly
different from what it originally did. This means that I need to have
the right to make the software use slightly different internal
interfaces, even if the original interfaces conformed to some
third-party "standard" specification and the inferface I want to use
does not.

> (technically, they are a Java interface, something close from a C ".h")

Which means that the interface may be essential to the compilation
of other software. Which, hence, means that if I want to change
that other software I might have either to change the interfaces
or to reimplement it independently. The latter is not a reasonable
alternative from a free-software view.

> [Remember the thread about the GPL being... non-free, for a similar reason.]

which is not the same situation: no changes to the functionality of
the software requires changing the license text.

Henning Makholm                            "In my opinion this child doesn't
                                       need to have his head shrunk at all."

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