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Re: GNU FDL 1.2 draft comment summary posted, and RFD



On Thu, Jun 13, 2002 at 09:35:17PM -0400, Anthony DeRobertis wrote:
> >I do not think we want to DFCL to attempt to restrict people from
> >applying proprietary "transforms" to DFCL-licensed data, as long as the
> >DFCL content is recoverable or otherwise available.  Hmm.  This could
> >get really, really, thorny.  Consider:
> 
> Consider my 'proprietary' transformation of:
> 
> 	gpg --decrypt

Uh, for someone to meaningfully be able to consume the work, you're
going to have to give them the key.  If you don't, you've either given
them trash for free, or snake oil for money.

See Message-ID: <20020614022809.GH9051@deadbeast.net> for my discussion
of the case where (one of) the decryption keys is embedded in the
consumer's hardware, as is the case with DVD.

> Or consider what a "font" means to PostScript. I don't want to 
> pull out my postscript book, but I think the answer is 
> "anything". I'm pretty sure a PostScript font can do, e.g, a 
> Blowfish decrypt of the document on the fly.[0]

Probably.  I gather that PostScript is Turing-complete, so you can
implement any algorithm you want.

> I'd love to say that every transform of the document must be 
> available under the same terms. But I realize that this is not 
> possible; do you have source to your printer's firmware?
> 
> So, we need to define transparent transforms, which need not be 
> free, and nontransparent ones, which are effectively part of the 
> source. I'm not sure how one does that.
> 
> Or we could do something like the GPL and exempt software 
> commonly distributed with operating systems and printers.

The GPL doesn't say exactly that.  I discussed the approach I'd like to
take later in Message-ID: <20020614022809.GH9051@deadbeast.net>; please
reply to that message.  :)

> >It's fine to mandate that the professor supply a URL to the source-form
> >of the document when we're talking about Carnegie-Mellon.  It's not so
> >fine to mandate that when we're talking about a school that 
> >doesn't even
> >have a name in Ghana.
> 
> Well, I don't think we should worry much about Ghana.

I do.  I think we need to push our agenda outside North America and
Europe as much as possible, because the governments within these
continents have mostly been bought off by the media cartels already.

Therefore, I want a solution that works for the "third world" as well as
one that works here.

> Either they don't care about copyright or they will get a copy from
> someone else who has put the URL on there.
> 
> We should allow re-use of the URL, just like the GPL does of 
> 3-year notices.

I agree.  You should be permitted to pass along the offer you received.

> >I disagree here.  You could say that the GNU GPL discriminates against
> >people who don't distribute in source form only, [...]
> 
> Yes, the DFSG would not stand up in court. We know that ;-)
> 
> But I'd have a hard time ignoring it for a license that said:
> 
> 	If you are an educational institution, you may follow the terms of 
> 	the
> 	X11 license.
> 
> 	If you are a non-profit or other non-commercial entity, you may 
> 	follow
> 	the terms of the DFCL.
> 
> 	If you are a commercial entity or publisher, you must follow the 
> 	terms
> 	of the GPL.
> 
> and I imagine you would, too.

Uh, actually, no.  If I saw the above language in the latest project on
Freshmeat, I'd probably wonder what the hell the author was thinking,
and I think he should have a good reason for licensing his work this
way.  But I do not think it's illegitimate on its face, nor do I think
that it violates DFSG 6.

Keep it mind what DFSG 6 literally says:

	No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor

	The license must not restrict anyone from making use of the
	program in a specific field of endeavor. For example, it may not
	restrict the program from being used in a business, or from
	being used for genetic research.

Strictly speaking, if you restrict people in a certain field of endeavor
from *modifying* or *distributing* the work, you're not violating the
letter of DFSG 6.

Moreover, copyright law does not traditionally restrict use -- that is,
consumption.  It does restrict modification, copying, public
performance, et al.  But a person who witnesses an unlicensed
performance of a Neil Simon play, for instance, is not infriging
copyight.  Only the performers and production staff are.

As usual, the DMCA has muddies the waters considerably, and makes you a
lawbreaker if you are in mere possession of a tool that MIGHT be used to
infringe copyright.  It also makes you a lawbreaker if you speak in too
much detail about tools that MIGHT be used to infringe copyright.  And,
according to the Federal Southern District of New York and 2nd Circuit
Court of Appeals, it makes you a lawbreaker if you hyperlink to someone
who is speaking in too much detail about tools that MIGHT be used to
infringe copyright.

I'm tempted to say that it is this kind of mindless, soulless,
anti-Constitutional, greedy, malicious grab for power that compels
people to take up arms against their oppressors.  But since I really
don't need a visit from the FBI^WDepartment of Homeland
Security^W^W^W^WBig Brother, I won't say that.

-- 
G. Branden Robinson                |
Debian GNU/Linux                   |         De minimis non curat lex.
branden@debian.org                 |
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |

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