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

On Mon, 26 Feb 2001, Sam TH wrote:

>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

In the text of the license, it specifically states that you may not charge
for the SV in and of itself...therefore modifications may be distributed
under the exact same terms as the SV.

>> 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.

"within your company or organization"

>> >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.

If they're archived, I'm assuming they're archived legally.  If there's no
permission to redistribute, how did you get it in the first place?

>> >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
> organization.

Look in the GPL, you'll find similar language there...

> d) make other distribution arrangements with the Copyright Holder.

Again.  BTW, this clause is actually redundant.  You may ALWAYS
renegotiate with the author if you cannot (or do not want to) fulfill a
given license, it's just that some licenses make it explicit.

>Surely you don not claim that they are DFSG free?

Not really, I've been saying that the GPL fails the DFSG as written for
years now :).  Seriously, these are pretty standard clauses in open source

>> >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

So include manpages.  It wouldn't be the first time that unnecessary cruft
has been added to a package because of licensing restrictions: look at BSD
compression in the >2.2.~16 kernels.

>> >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.

Well the DFSG doesn't explicitly say that commercial distribution is
supposed to be allowed either, you're not allowing implicit language in
the Artistic licesnse to refute your implicit reading of the DFSG...Am I
the only one to see the problem with this?

>> >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.

The python license is DFSG free, it's just linking against GPL code that's
the issue...  Since RMS is often the nominal copyright holder for GPL
software, it is usually wise to listen to his intentions WRT linking to
GPL code.  Basically, I'm in the BSD camp on this one: if you're not
going to use the GPL, link as little as possible to GPL code, there are
more incompatibilites between the GPL and open source licenses than there
are open source licenses.

>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"?

Quoting out of context.  Taking only one option of four and basing your
determination of the DFSG freeness only on that one.  Implicit reading of
the DFSG but not of the Artistic license.  Did any of these tactics serve
to make the issues clearer?

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

Galt's sci-fi paradox:  Stormtroopers versus Redshirts to the death.

Who is John Galt?  galt@inconnu.isu.edu, that's who!

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