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Re: PBS License

John Galt <galt@inconnu.isu.edu>:

> >> GPL-ish stuff, the only problem is that you theoretically cannot use the
> >> OpenPBS license on contributed code, since it implies restrictions (there
> >> goes DFSG 3).  In fact, the only way you could theoretically contribute
> >> code is to make the contributions PD, since ANY license implies
> >> restrictions of SOME type on redistribution.
> >
> >I don't follow this argument. In what way does the X11 licence
> >restrict redistribution?
> With the XFree86 license, it's tough to find a restriction, but they have
> one:
>  The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be
>    included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.
> this necessarily restricts the redistribution to copies carrying a copy of
> the license.

I don't see that as a restriction on free redistribution as it doesn't
prevent anyone from distributing an unmodified copy of the Software.

It does constitute a (very minor and trivial) restriction on free
redistribution of modified versions of the Software, yes, but clause 5
didn't say anything about modification.

> >>  Not only is this non-free,
> >
> >Even if contributions did have to be PD, why would this make it non-free?
> DFSG 3: "under the same terms as the license".  Even if we put aside my
> strict definition of restriction, this license is not going to qualify
> under it's own clause 5.

    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

A PD modification can be distributed under any terms at all so it can
certainly be distributed under the same terms as the original licence
(whatever they were).

You seem to have a different interpretation of DFSG 3 which means that
a modifier must have the right to be as restrictive as the original
author. It seems to me unlikely that this is what was intended by the
authors of the DFSG. I also think my interpretation is the more
natural one just from looking at the text of DFSG 3 "in isolation".

> >> but the packager must realize that they are going to have to give away any
> >> authorship rights on their modifications and release them to the public
> >> domain.
> >
> >I don't see what is to stop an evil packager from releasing a patch
> >with a licence saying that the patch may be freely redistributed but
> >not modified, for example.
> How would it propagate without the implicit restriction of coupling the
> license with the product?

That's an SEP (Somebody Else's Problem). You can't distribute it by
pigeon post out of a black hole, either, but who cares?

> >>  In fact, you cannot even require that your name stay attached to
> >> your changes after they leave your hands, as that could be construed to be
> >> a restriction.
> >
> >Your name would presumably appear in the licence. If anyone were to
> >remove the licence, the code would become unredistributable, because
> >no one would have permission any more. This would arguably violate
> >clause 5, so I would guess that your name would have to stay attached
> >even if you made your modification PD.
> If it's PD, what license?

I meant the author's statement that the software is PD. Perhaps this
isn't technically a licence, but it serves the same function.

Anway, let's not get too sidetracked. As far as the original question
in concerned, you are claiming:

(1) The PBS licence forces modifications to be freer than the original

(2) That disqualifies it because of DFSG 3.

You are probably right about (1), but I don't accept (2) because I
think you have misinterpreted DFSG 3.


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