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Re: OpenDivX license

On Thu, Jan 25, 2001 at 11:20:15AM -0800, Brian Behlendorf wrote:
> On Thu, 25 Jan 2001, Joseph Carter wrote:
> >   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.
> > 		      
> > If a license says you cannot use this software for x, that is almost
> > always a violation of the DFSG.  Software that must never be modified to
> > deviate from a standard quite clearly fails the above.  
> Uh, no.  At least, not from the above - you're extrapolating "field of
> endevor" to "can not use software for x", where I presume "x" is your term
> for "non-standards-compliant use".  The examples used above are very
> different from a clause talking about a protocol standard, and not just a
> technical difference.  For example, a license stating "this software can't
> be redistributed by a genetics company" would leave me, if I were a
> programmer for Genentech, completely out of luck, by virtue of who I am.  
> However, if it said "I can't distribute a modification that violates a
> standard", that doesn't lock me out, that just says I have a hoop I have
> to jump through.  So, ethically it's a much different case.
> The "rationale" given (written originally by Perens, I presume) is: "the
> major intention of this clause is to prohibit license traps that prevent
> open source from being used commercially. We want commercial users to join
> our community, not feel excluded from it." 

Well, I don't know how people are going to like this, but here goes

I think we should introduce the concept of precedent into our
deliberations here on debian-legal.  That is, when a clause of the
DFSG has been consistenly interpreted to mean that some aspect of a
license is or is not free, then that should be taken to be a real
factor in our deliberations.  

Its application here would be thus:

Debian-legal has repeatedly held that requiring or prohibiting
particular behavior as a condition of distributiing modified versions
is in violation of the Fields of Endeavor clause of the DFSG.  

Thus, the OpenDivx license is in violation of the DFSG.


Among others.  (for some reason the search engine for -legal isn't
working so well).  

How does that sound?
	sam th		     
	GnuPG Key:  

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