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Re: three send back changes clauses

On Mon, 28 May 2001, Walter Landry wrote:

>>>Also, the court specifically said that "best effort"=="act in good
>>>faith".  I don't see how you say that someone who uses the software
>>>but has no intention of ever contributing back changes (because their
>>>boss told them not to) is acting in good faith.  The software should
>>>still not go in main.
>>Fine, whatever, file the damn bugs against scheme <=7.4 then.  Option C
>>was clause 2 of the scheme license.
>On debian, I could only find mit-scheme version 7.5.  That release is
>under the GPL, so there is no need for a bug report.

Well, now!  Now we get into interesting things...  Okay, so there's no
mit-scheme licensed software in Debian (I just spent too much time
looking: &*%^ whoever made the change to the package webpages that
they don't link to copyright...).  I figured that mit-scheme dated back a
little longer than it did...

>In any case, it would be useful to have a consensus on debian-legal
>about this issue.  Do you agree that the license makes it non-free, or
>are you just tired of arguing?

Mostly I was under the impression that mit-scheme was a LOT older in
Debian than it actually was.  Basically, I believe that Debian-Legal
really needs a good dose of _Stare Decisis_ (sp?), and if a decision on a
particular license is reversed, the "winning side" should be prepared to
send out bug reports or RFPs.

All this is academic, and I have no recollection of the MIT scheme license
ever becoming an issue, and there's no packages with the license in Debian
or non-free, so we're on virgin ground here.  In which case, I still
maintain that the "best effort" is barely good enough to make it within
main, but not so convinced that I'm willing to take on the universe single
handedly about it.  I'm thinking that the request with no requirement
(option b) is good enough for both of us, and given the three
alternatives, it's the one that >I< would prefer to be bound by.

Having pointed out the compromise route, let me now go into why I think
that "best effort" is not that onerous.  Basically, making a one-off best
effort to get the changes into the hands of one person is less onerous
than providing changes to all comers for three years (GPL clause 3b).  To
be more exact, the license may try to restrict your use, but I believe
that that is impossible _prima facie_: that implies some "click-wrap" or
"shrink-wrap" license, and under the present law, that is just not
feasable.  Therefore this license must only deal with copying.  Since it
only deals with copying, this means you may only make copies of the
program available if you try to provide the changes upstream.  If you
can't provide the changes upstream because of political reasons, what the
HELL are you doing making them available to the general public?

You may note that this hinges on the fact that a use requirement is
unenforcable by definition, so therefore should be reread to a copying
requirement.  Since I am not too happy with this (allowing
reinterpretation is a slippery slope I don't like being on...), you can
see why I am not too hot on pushing the issue, and I really don't want to
send out any RFPs this week anyway :)

>Walter Landry

There is no problem so great that it cannot be solved with suitable
application of High Explosives.

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

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