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Re: FWD: Bug#121916: analog should be in non-free

On Sat, Dec 01, 2001 at 06:52:06PM -0500, Sam Hartman wrote:
> >>>>> "Joey" == Joey Hess <joeyh@debian.org> writes:
>     Joey> Moving on to the other objection, does "you may not charge
>     Joey> for the program itself, only for reasonable costs of
>     Joey> distributing the program" violate the DFSG? The DFSG
>     Joey> requires that a program's license not prevent sale of an
>     Joey> aggregate of software that includes that program. It doesn't
>     Joey> require that the program be salable alone, just in
>     Joey> combination with other software.
> I think I want this clause to end up being against the DFSG.  However
> I don't really want to have that argument as others are doing it.
> Can't you just modify the program in some way and make the issue
> irrelevant?

I'm not sure how meaningful that statement (""you may not charge
for the program itself, only for reasonable costs of distributing the
program") even is.

What does it mean to charge for a program if you're NOT distributing it?
I guess it means you can't charge people for reading the program or
using the program.  However, traditional copyright law does not address
these activities.  (On the other hand, the big media cartels are pushing
very hard to expand its boundaries into areas historically covered by
trade secret, trademark, and patent law, and this is what the DMCA is
all about.)  The phrase "charge for the program itself" seems to me to
be so vague as to be almost meaningless.

What would it mean to charge for a banana, but not distribution of the
banana?  How can you have an exchange of goods or services without those
goods or services being "distributed"?  If I have a million dollars in
the bank, and offer it to you for a penny, but refuse to distribute the
million dollars to you, who comes out ahead in this transaction?

I think you get the point.

I suggest that the quoted language is hopelessly vague, and should be
replaced with a clarification.  I do not think it violates the DFSG
unless a copyright holder attempts to enforce it a manner that violates
the DFSG.  The clarified Artistic license is much, much better than the
original, but still has some vague points.  I sent mail to the Perl guys
about it a very long time ago, but they completely ignored me.

G. Branden Robinson                |    It was a typical net.exercise -- a
Debian GNU/Linux                   |    screaming mob pounding on a greasy
branden@debian.org                 |    spot on the pavement, where used to
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |    lie the carcass of a dead horse.

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