[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

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 01:40:02PM -0700, John Galt wrote:
>> 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.
>> ...conviently
>What's that supposed to mean?

Meaning that from your cite, one cannot be sure that they are.

>> >>
>> >> >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
>> >aggregates?
>> 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.
>Actually, it states that you can't charge for the SV or derived works
>(basically) themseleves.  And doesn't it seem like a violation of that
>clause to restrict how much money one can charge for the (unmodified)
>package?  Actually, if you aren't selling a copy, but the original you
>recieved, the restrictions on prices aren't even legally valid.

Cool!  You heard it first.  The GPL is DFSG non-free!

Here's what the GPL says about charging a fee:

 You may charge a fee for the physical act of transferring a copy, and
   you may at your option offer warranty protection in exchange for a

What is not expressly allowed is denied, and there is no express
permission in the GPL for charging ANY fee for the program qua program.

>But yes, it is clear that you are allowed to give away copies of the
>SV for free.  That aspect of the DFSG is complied with.
>> >> 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"
>Well, the point of me using "friends" was to suggest people not in my
>"company or organization".  So how about we consider me distributing
>this to 10 random people on the street, and no one else.  Is this

Let's go to another case: You do the same for OpenSSL.  You've violated
the OpenSSL license, since it expressly forbids linking with GPL code.
Yet OpenSSL is DFSG free.  Your example fails to make any difference
because you've stretched it so far.

>> >> >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?
>Let's see, you can download Microsoft IE freely from the Internet,
>right?  Can you give away modified versions?  I don't think so.

But we aren't talking about downloading a modified copy, we're talking
about uploading a modification and whether it's redistributable.  If it's
not redistributable on a server, what's the point of uploading it, and
what's THEIR point in accepting it?

>> >>
>> >> >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...
>Right, that clause is actually neccessary to be DFSG free.  My point
>is that the DFSG requires a "free redistribution" clause, and that
>that one isn't it.

Where does it require ANY given clause?

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

BTW, look at GPLv2 section 10.  Similar wording, only the difference is
that GPLv2S10 is for incorporation into FREE programs.

>> 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
>> licenses.
>Do you have some cites in the archives for these opinions of yours?
>I'd be interested to see them.

I can't find them in -legal, must've been in -devel or -policy.  Basically
Mike Bilow postulated that the GPL wasn't DFSG free and I helped out on
the DA side...

>> >> >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
>> >Windows?
>> 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.
>What's a manpage?  It's certainly not defined in the license.

So it should be easy to cover then.  Make a file "manpage" with the
required attributions.

>And how do you know manpages have anything to do with "the wishes of
>the copyright holder"?  My point is that it's impossible to even tell
>what the definition of "Standard Version" means, because of this sort
>of ambiguity.

Taken out of context, "this program" is also ambiguous in the GPL...

>> >> >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?
>"The license of a Debian component may not restrict any party from
>selling .. the software"

GODDAMN IT!  The cite is above.  You're misquoting it!  The last part is
DIFFERENT SOURCES.  What part of "out of context" DON'T you understand!
Debian DOES NOT require commercial distribution be an option FOR ONLY THE

>Sounds like commercial distribution to me.  And a direct quote from
>the DFSG.  Furthermore, the "Fields of Endeavor" clause prohibits
>restrictions on commercial use.  Where's my implicit reading of the

USE, not redistribution.  Otherwise the GPL fails, since it's primary
purpose is to prevent commercial redistribution of a given package.

>> >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?
>Well, as I explained above, the DFSG requires both "free
>redistribution" and "personal use" of modified versions.  The AL

HORSE SHIT.  Your out of context quotation does.

>clearly satisfies the latter.  Since only one clause in the AL has any
>hope of satisfying the former, I only looked at it (actually, I looked
>at the others too, but not as much).  What's wrong or confusing about
>What did I quote out of context?

DFSG 1 for the obvious example.  The Artistic license section 3 and 4 for

>And the supposed "implicit reading" of the DFSG can be backed up (as
>it has been) by direct quotes from the DFSG.

Actually, the direct quotes had ellipses and omitted qualifying clauses.

>	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!

Reply to: