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Re: [Steve Lidie <Stephen.O.Lidie@Lehigh.EDU>] Re: xodometer licensing

Headers trimmed.  The bug can be settled on it's own merits...

On Sun, 25 Feb 2001, Sam TH wrote:

>On Sun, Feb 25, 2001 at 03:05:48PM -0700, John Galt wrote:
>> On Sun, 25 Feb 2001, Sam TH wrote:
>> >On Sun, Feb 25, 2001 at 12:41:36PM -0800, Aaron Lehmann wrote:
>> >> I recieved this response from the author about what he permits us to
>> >> distribute xodo under. Is this statement sufficient as copying terms
>> >> if placed into the debian/copyright file?
>> >>
>> >
>> >I would suspect that what he means is that xodo is distributed under
>> >the license of Perl, that is both the GPL and the AL.  However, as he
>> >wasn't specific about the GNU license, and he didn't make it very
>> >clear at all what you should do if the Artistic License wasn't
>> >acceptable (which it isn't) you might want to ask him for
>>             ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>> What part of the DFSG are you basing this on?
>Well, I don't think it's a free license for similar reasons as RMS.
>Mostly because it's very vauge in places, and references things that
>it really shouldn't in others.  Examples:

I doubt it.  RMS's REAL reason is that it isn't his GPL.  Look at how many
unequivocally free licenses fall under his definition of non-free.  Hell
the most free license in existence, the original BSD "do whatever you
want, just don't bother us or plagiarize" license was considered by RMS to
be non-free.

>1) <quote> place your modifications in the Public Domain or otherwise
>make them Freely Available, such as by posting said modifications to
>Usenet or an equivalent medium, or placing the modifications on a
>major archive site such as uunet.uu.net, or by allowing the Copyright
>Holder to include your modifications in the Standard Version of the
>Package.  </quote>

Optional part.  The preceeding phrase is the biggie "provided you do at
least ONE of the following:"

>Aside from the really stupid decision to reference a particular server
>(which doesn't appear even to exist anymore), do you know what this
>clause means?  For example, Freely Available means that "no fee is
>charged for the item itself".  Does this mean that I can't charge for
>distributing modified binaries, even if I provide free source with
>them?  It also means that "recipients of the item may redistribute it
>under the same conditions they received it", but that doesn't help you
>at all.  You can redistribute Microsoft software as well, under
>whatever terms you like.

Debian's definition of "freely available"

1.Free Redistribution

     The license of a Debian component may not restrict any party from
selling or giving away the software as a component of an
     aggregate software distribution containing programs from several
different sources. The license may not require a royalty or other fee
     for such sale.

Please note that the only issue in the DFSG is if it can be sold as part
of an aggregate, which the Artistic explicitly allows.  The other clause
of the DFSG applicable is:

3.Derived Works

     The license must allow modifications and derived works, and must
allow them to be distributed under the same terms as the license
     of the original software.

Show me where the terms are different for the modifications.  I'm guessing
that if it was rewrote today, LW would use CPAN as his example.

>This statement of freely available, however, also conflicts with the
>examples given for "freely availableness", such as usenet.  Nothing
>about a usenet posting implies free redistibutability.  In fact,
>Usenet postings are all copyrighted, and unless specific other license
Case law?  Cite?

>is given, cannot be copied.  The same goes for internet archives, even
>the ones that still exist.

Ahhh, but the aggregate is a separately copyrightable work.  Look at the
OpenBSD CD images...

>2) The reference to manual pages is very limiting, in that it only
>works on Unix-like systems.

The reference is also one of four options again.  Also again, you only
need to comply with one...

>3) <quote>You may embed this Package's interpreter within an
>executable of yours (by linking); this shall be construed as a mere
>form of aggregation, provided that the complete Standard Version of
>the interpreter is so embedded.</quote>
>Does this mean I can't link with my own modified copy of the Perl
>interpreter?  I don't think that's what Larry meant, but it is what
>that says.

Covered in the definitions...

     "Standard Version" refers to such a Package if it has not been
modified, or has been modified in accordance with the wishes
     of the Copyright Holder as specified below.

So long as the modifications are legally done, it's still the SV as far as
this license goes..

>4) <quote>Aggregation of this Package with a commercial distribution
>is always permitted provided that the use of this Package is embedded;
>that is, when no overt attempt is made to make this Package's
>interfaces visible to the end user of the commercial
>distribution. Such use shall not be construed as a distribution of
>this Package.</quote>
>This seems highly non-free, as commercial distributions are required
>to be allowed by the DFSG.  However, they are also allowed by clause 5
>of the AL, contradicting that passage in clause 8.

Again, you're misreading.  Commercial distribution that DOESN'T FOLLOW the
rest of the license is allowed if the user can't see what's going on under
the hood.

>Some references:
>Ask Slashdot on the AL (lots o flames):
>RMS on the AL:
>However, the OSI does consider it Open, so whatever we decide is
>likely to piss someone off.

My caring about what the three of these think of a license you could fit
in the memory of a PET and still have room for 4096 bytes of data.  I care
only if a license fits the DFSG, and your arguments are based on
misreadings and outright obfuscations.

>	sam th
>	sam@uchicago.edu
>	http://www.abisource.com/~sam/
>	GnuPG Key:
>	http://www.abisource.com/~sam/key

For every problem there is one solution which is simple, neat, and wrong.
-- H. L. Mencken

John Galt (galt@inconnu.isu.edu)

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