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

Re: FilterProxy and DFSG

Sam TH [sam@uchicago.edu] wrote:
> On Tue, Mar 13, 2001 at 01:35:14PM +0200, Richard Braakman wrote:
> > 
> > So am I.  I'm actually quite concerned by the possibility that the
> > GPL may allow usage restrictions to be added by others, I think it
> > would be a serious bug in the GPL if it's true.  That's why I'm
> > exploring every detail.
> I don't think you need to worry.  Here's why:

See my last post for a response to this.

> This brings up an interesting question: is FilterProxy really
> non-free?  Since the non-free portions of its license are legally
> irrelevant, do they still make it non-free?  If I included a statement
> requiring users of my software to to grow horns after using the
> software, would that make it non-free?

I do not think Debian should be making assessments of the legality of
other people's licenses, unless it wants to hire teams of lawyers to
pour through them.  Is anyone participating in this a lawyer?

The free/non-free distinction should go simply along the lines of
"accepted licenses" as listed by Debian, the FSF, or the OSI.  As such,
I think FilterProxy should be considered non-free (as it stands).

So...I've decided to remove the usage restrictions, and just put a
little rant in the README about it instead.  However, there is another
more important reason that I wrote that license, that must be addressed

I need to ensure that I am legally protected from "contributory
copyright infringement".  That is, let's say some large ISP decides to
deploy FilterProxy for all their customers, filtering their ads.  Let's
say some large advertiser gets irked that their ads are not reaching the
ISP's customers.  In essence, FilterProxy is violating the copyright on
the HTML that passes through it.  This is why I wanted to restrict the
usage of FilterProxy to individuals that have knowledge of the filtering
and give consent.  Then it should fall under "fair use" of the
copyrighted HTML.  (just as marking in a book you bought or ripping out
pages is legal)  Large advertiser then sues *me* for contributory
copyright infringement.  (if it can happen to Napster...)  Filtering
proxies aren't large enough to be on their radar yet, but they might be,

It would appear that the NO WARRANTY sections of the GPL (11 and 12)
offer no protection to the software's copyright holder for illegal acts
performed by users of the software, using the software.

Any suggestions on this?

-- Bob

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

Attachment: pgpY2jdJdIeaD.pgp
Description: PGP signature

Reply to: