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Re: Irony of RSA Encryption

On Sat, Sep 16, 2000 at 12:30:44AM -0500, Paul Serice wrote:
> Perhaps you could walk a little in my shoes.  I would like to know how
> you would reconcile the following:
> While maintaining "Crafty" a well-regarded chess engine, the author
> changed the license because many people were entering it in amateur
> chess programming competitions, not as Crafty, but as something they
> had written themselves.  According to the author, this was taking the
> wind out of many young programmers' sails.
> The author of Crafty changed how it was licensed to prevent this
> abuse.  My recollection is that the good people on debian-legal
> uniformly told me that Crafty was now "non-free" -- in part -- because
> it discriminated against persons or fields of endeavor.

Let's see ...

| Crafty, copyright 1996-1999 by Robert M. Hyatt, Ph.D., Associate
| Professor of Computer and Information Sciences, University of Alabama at
| Birmingham.
| All rights reserved.  No part of this program may be reproduced in any
| form or by any means, for other than your personal use, without the
| express written permission of the author.  This program may not be used
| in whole, nor in part, to enter any computer chess competition without
| requirement that the program be entered under the name "Crafty" so that
| the program's ancestry will be known.

According to the DFSG, requiring that you get permission to do anything
with the package is non-free by the very definition.

> The use it discriminated against was something that a good member of
> society wouldn't do anyway.

The thing about not entering it into contests?  If the license said that
the program's origins may not be misrepresented, it would be free.  It's
the requirement that you get permission before you do it that makes it

> Well several months, maybe years, past before I realized that the GPL
> also discriminates against uses: You cannot modify software covered by
> the GPL in a proprietary program you redistribute without disclosing
> the changes you made.  If you are one of these people, you have to
> start from scratch -- which is fine.  Those are the restrictions
> placed on the software by its authors, but they are still
> restrictions.

By design.  The fact is that your pet package was rejected by Debian as
clearly non-free and as a result you feel it necessary to troll about how
the GPL is evil and so's the DFSG as a result.

If you can't understand the difference between the restrictions in the GPL
and the restrictions in crafty, there's nothing I can say that will change
anything.  You're either unable or unwilling to se a difference between
one kind of restriction and another.  The fact that the difference is
codified in the DFSG causes me to question your understanding of it.  If
you don't understand it, I have to question what NM was thinking.

> The GPL folks say that a good member of society wouldn't do that
> anyway -- the same losing argument I used for Crafty.
> So, I often ask myself if there is a real difference between the
> discriminations outlined above in the Crafty license and those in the
> GPL.
> Can you offer an insight?

None that you'd be willing to listen to.

> Looking back on the DFSG, with hindsight, my only guess is that DFSG
> #3 provides an implicit exception for DFSG #5.  This may work in
> spirit, but if you read it, it makes a difference to me that DFSG #3
> speaks of things that have to be "allowed," not things that are
> "required."  (I've never been too fond of textual arguments though.)

I flatly refuse to get into an argument quibbling over the spirit vs. the
language of the DFSG.

Joseph Carter <knghtbrd@debian.org>               GnuPG key 1024D/DCF9DAB3
Debian GNU/Linux (http://www.debian.org/)         20F6 2261 F185 7A3E 79FC
The QuakeForge Project (http://quakeforge.net/)   44F9 8FF7 D7A3 DCF9 DAB3

<Knghtbrd> QF is going to get zipfile support today
<Coderjoe> heh... infozip?
<Knghtbrd> If I'm lucky yes
<Deek> knghtbrd: You're kidding, right? ;)
* Deek takes away Knghtbrd's crack pipe. ;)

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