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

A few more LPPL concerns

Thanks Boris and Frank for explanations of how some forks could be made.  
It's a delightful edge case for us, and gives Debian a chance to reflect 
on where the lines are and just how much liberty is required in order to 
be "free enough".

My current personal opinion is that the individual filename restrictions,
especially where the filename is part of the API, make it too proprietary
to comfortably distribute as part of Debian.  I still can't tell whether 
this is a wording issue or a fundamental disagreement. 

Presuming it's a wording issue, there are also a few smaller issues in the
LPPL-1.3 draft (
is still the latest version, right?) that would be good to address in the 
next iteration.

> Note that in the above, `distribution' of a file means making the file
> available to others by any means.  This includes, for instance,
> installing the file on any machine in such a way that the file is
> accessible by users other than yourself.

Did this bother anyone else, or am I out in left field again?  I don't
think it's actually enforceable, as it becomes a use constraint rather
than a distribution (in the normal sense of the word) constraint, but even
the attempt is unpleasant.  I can accept (unhappily) some hoops required
to give out modified copies of your software.  I cannot accept that a
Debian customer isn't allowed to change the software on a machine she owns
(but isn't the sole user) without following these hoops.

> An individual file of The Program may bear additional conditions that
> supplement and/or supersede the conditions in this license if, and only
> if, such additional conditions exclusively concern modification of the
> file or distribution of a modified version of the file.  The conditions
> on individual files of The Program therefore may differ only with
> respect to the kind and extent of modification of those files that is
> allowed, and with respect to the distribution of modified versions of
> those files.

I'm not sure what this is intended to do, and it would certainly be 
clearer if it were written in the active voice.  What is a licensee 
allowed or not allowed to do based on this paragraph that is not otherwise 
covered?  It seems either a limit on the restrictions that the recipient 
can put on new files, or a guarantee that the main license supersedes 
individual files.  

But the exception for "modification or distribution of modified versions",
makes this pretty meaningless, doesn't it?


I'd be tempted to split this section and all references to the current
maintainer and maintenance status into a seperate document.  Dual-license
the software, such that the LPPL is available to anyone who recieves the
package, and the "LP Maintainer License" is available to people who fit
the requirements as defined in that document.

This recommendation is simply for clarity, not because of any conceptual 
Mark Rafn    dagon@dagon.net    <http://www.dagon.net/>  

To UNSUBSCRIBE, email to debian-legal-request@lists.debian.org
with a subject of "unsubscribe". Trouble? Contact listmaster@lists.debian.org

Reply to: