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Re: orphaning fetchmail

On Sat, 16 Dec 2000, Raul Miller wrote:

> On Sat, Dec 16, 2000 at 12:25:19AM -0700, John Galt wrote:
> > Rewriting the damned GPL to be compatible with the rest of the world
> > might be a good place to start rewriting.
> If the damned GPL didn't have that "incompatibility" there would be no
> Debian, BSD would probably still require you signed a license agreement
> before you could look at it, and we'd probably be arguing in some AOL
> chatroom about some Microsoft breakage.

But this isn't then.  This is now, where the list of free licenses that
the GPL is incompatible with is practically larger than the list that
it is compatible with.  If the GPL is truly the progenitor of the free
software movement (damn, all those EULAS I had to have signed to read Byte
back in the day must've killed my hand: no click-wrap licensing back
then--clicking was still ten years in the future), then it's a dinosaur
now, doing more harm than good.  Time to relegate it to the shelves with
the whole idea of licensing software: you don't go to the grocery store to
get a license for food, so why should you go to the computer store to get
a license for software?
> > > OpenSSL is doing something approximately in that direction, but I don't
> > > see that it solves all the problems.
> > 
> > Where's the technical issue?  The only problem that's been postulated is
> > the license combatibility.
> See the message with the header:
> Message-ID: <[🔎] 976974718.2f70b09e@debian.org>

I could not find it in the thread.  lists.debian.org has no search by
message-ID functionality, so you lost me here.

> > > Non-GPL authors are perfectly free to reimplement GPLed works, if
> > > they don't like the GPL license.  Why shouldn't GPL authors be free to
> > > reimplement non-GPL works if they don't like the non-GPL license?
> > 
> > Are they?  Show me one successful case.
> See the message with the header:
> Message-ID: <[🔎] 20001216021741.W4445@osiris.978.org>

Recieved about an hour after I said this...BTW, I doubt that it could be
consdiered very successful: the usage of the replacement isn't exactly
widespread.  It gives new meaning to the term "released to a chorus of
yawns".  A fitting fate for all political rewrites, IMHO.

> > > > Would it even have more difference than the legal minimum to make it a
> > > > separate work?
> > > 
> > > If it's an independent rewrite, perhaps to a different underlying api,
> > > then it would pretty much have to be an independent work.
> > 
> > Aha!  If the API is screwed, that isn't just a political issue now is it?
> Screwed?  More like: in spite of all that you've tried to teach me,
> I still have this underlying concept that there's more than one way to
> do it.

By all means do it a different way, just do it to sctratch an itch rather
than to play political games.  If the itch is bad enough, scratch away.
> Having looked at the code, here's what I'd do different:
> [1] I'd design the thing around an event loop, instead of trying
> to graft one one in a backwards-compatible fashion using callbacks.
> [2] I'd include API support for everything which can be done through
> ssh.
> > > >  Would EAY recognize it as a different way to do it?
> > >  
> > > Copyright isn't about functionality.  It's about literal copying.
> > 
> > ...which you have every right to do ATM, just so long as you don't
> > plagiarize.  My question still stands: if the programs are so similar that
> > the author can't tell the difference, how technically oriented was the
> > change?
> What are you talking about?

The ad clause is simply the Academic's viewpoint that one should not take
credit for work that one hasn't done.  Failing to give credit to others in
an academic arena is grounds for Not Very Nice Things to happen.

> > > > This just sounds like an Orwellian redefinition of the BSDL, not a
> > > > different way to do things.
> > > 
> > > I suppose you could describe the openssl license as an orwellian
> > > redefinition...  [To address the comment I think you were trying to
> > > express, but did not: I don't see how you could describe someone else's
> > > independent authoring of code as orwellian redefinition of the BSDL,
> > 
> > If it were truly independent, no. But what you're proposing isn't
> > independent is it? The dependency lies in WHY the program was
> > authored. If it were authored because the new author has a better way
> > to do it, then we have the issue of the original author having the
> > beholden right to do whatever they want with their code. If it was
> > rewritten just because the author disagreed with the licensing terms,
> > and the terms are DFSG free, it isn't Debian's place to encourage
> > it--making free variants of non-free programs is well within the SC,
> > making free variants of already free programs is something that Debian
> > should accept if as a _fait accompli_ but not go out of its way to
> > start.
> I don't have a clue what you're talking about.

Why should Debian get behind a rewriting of DFSG free software because of
licensing issues?  The license passes muster, end of story as far as
Debian goes.  My issue is not with the rewrite if that's what you want to
do, my issue is that the reasons you cite for your rewrite are invalid on
their face: openssl is already DFSG free.

> Thanks,

Pardon me, but you have obviously mistaken me for someone who gives a
email galt@inconnu.isu.edu

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