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Re: FilterProxy and DFSG

Anthony Towns [aj@azure.humbug.org.au] wrote:
> On Mon, Mar 12, 2001 at 06:49:59PM -0600, Bob McElrath wrote:
> > Richard Braakman [dark@xs4all.nl] wrote:
> > > On Mon, Mar 12, 2001 at 05:37:40PM -0600, Bob McElrath wrote:
> > > GPL section 6, when talking about distributing the program, says
> > > "You may not impose any further restrictions on the recipients'
> > > exercise of the rights granted herein."
> > I'll go ahead and argue that unrestraind usage is not a "right granted"
> > within the GPL.
> AIUI (and IANAL) it doesn't have to be: copyright only restricts people
> making copies of a program, not using it.

AIUI?  I'm not familiar with that one.  (as I understand it?)

And you've hit the nail on the head...I'm trying to separate the usage
license (LICENSE) from the copying license (COPYING = GPL), which one
ought to be able to do.  Am I the first to try this?

> It's probably possible to contract out of this, so that the users give
> up their rights to use the program however they choose once they have
> a copy, but this has to be in return for something. So you could say
> something like "You may only distribute this program if you don't use
> it for designing weapons to hurt baby seals" or something like that,
> but other than that, even as the author of the program, you don't get
> to dictate how anyone might use it.

Well, my license is essentially that (or intended to be at any rate).  A
contract.  Granted, it's an icky click-wrap license (and not even that,
since I have no way of knowing that the user has even *seen* the
license -- indeed, if they get it from debian they probably won't see
it).  The idea being that if some big company, school district, etc.
decides to deploy FilterProxy on a large scale, filtering other people's
content, they *will* read the license, and decide...hey, we can't do
this... (hopefully).

What any individual does with it, for himself is his own business.

> > > The next statement, "Any work derived from FilterProxy must include
> > > this License in addition to the GPL", would also be a "further
> > > restriction" under section 6.  
> > Again, if usage is not a right "granted herein", then requiring the
> > secondary license is not a restriction on those rights.  
> That's a restriction on the right to distribute and modify it, not usage
> though, fwiw.

See my last post.  Is the license part of the software, and therefore,
covered by its copright?

> Usually usage restrictions are taken as making a program non-free;
> so FilterProxy's license fails DFSG 6: it discriminates against people
> trying to transparently remove swear words from web pages, eg.

Yes, it does.  ;)  I'm not arguing that FilterProxy shouldn't be in
non-free, I'm just trying to make sure I've got all my t's crossed and
my i's dotted WRT my license.

If debian-legal doesn't want to entertain my exploration of the GPL, let
me know... ;)  But I thought it would be an appropriate forum.

-- Bob

Bob McElrath (rsmcelrath@students.wisc.edu) 
Univ. of Wisconsin at Madison, Department of Physics

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