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

On Mon, Feb 26, 2001 at 01:21:40AM -0700, John Galt wrote:
> >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:"

Right.  The only one that has any real chance of being DFSG free,
though.  So the fact that it's optional is irrelevant.  

> >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.

First, what Debina calls freely available is irrelevant to the legal
interpretation of the license.  Second, doesn't "no fee is charged for
the item itself" seem to contradict that clause?  And doesn't DFSG 1
seem to conflict with the later (contradictory) statements about

> 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.

Well, redistribution of verbatim copies of the distribution is
explicitly allowed, without any of the restrictions placed on
modififed versions.  What if I create a GPL's patch to an AL binary,
and distribute the patch only to my friends.  I fail to see where this
is allowed by the license.
> >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...

No, I meant individual files on the archives.

> >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...

The other two (the ones I didn't mention) are:

 b) use the modified Package only within your corporation or


 d) make other distribution arrangements with the Copyright Holder.

Surely you don not claim that they are DFSG free?

> >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..

What the hell are "the wishes of the copyright holder"?  That isn't
defined in the license, isn't a legal term, and is basically
unknowable.  What if my real wish is to have my code included in

> >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.

Does that clause say that?  It just says "Aggregation of this Package
with a commercial distribution", and nothing about whether or not it
follows the other clauses.

> >Some references:
> >
> >Ask Slashdot on the AL (lots o flames):
> >http://slashdot.org/askslashdot/99/12/08/1919252.shtml
> >
> >RMS on the AL:
> >http://reflect.cat.org.au/lists/oldlistarchives/webkids/0229.html
> >
> >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.

Well, lots of people care about what RMS thinks (see Python license,
etc).  And the OSI uses the same defintion that we do.  

I see where you think I have misread the license, and I have tried to
show why I read it that way.  I think that you are reading too much of
what we all know Larry meant, and not enough of what Larry actually
said.  This is, of course, difficult to avoid, since the license has
such a long history.

But where do you think I made "outright obfuscations"?
	sam th		     
	GnuPG Key:  

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