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QPL: non-free?



On Tue, Aug 20, 2002 at 04:43:20AM -0400, Anthony DeRobertis wrote:
> Any references? Google for 'zend "Branden Robinson"' can't find anything
> other than the message I'm replying to.

Hmm, must have been IRC.

> Zend appears to be distributed under different licenses. 
> 
> http://www.zend.com/license/ZendLicense/ has:
>      All advertising materials mentioning features or use of this
>      software must display the following acknowledgment:
>      "The Zend Engine is freely available at http://www.zend.com";

Yes, the usual appropriation-of-advertising-budget nonsense.

> Also, I don't much like this these terms of the QPL,, but I can't
> actually find anything in DFSG they violate:
>  (3)b. When modifications to the Software are released under this
>        license, a non-exclusive royalty-free right is granted to the
>        initial developer of the Software to distribute your modification
>        in future versions of the Software provided such versions remain
>        available under these terms in addition to any other license(s)
>        of the initial developer.
> 
> [Maybe I'm blind; who knows?]

IMO, it is against the spirit of Free Software to require the assignment
of your intellectual property rights in anything for the freedom to
modify someone else's intellectual property.

In fact, it is against the spirit of Free Software to require the
assignment of anything of worth to a copyright holder in exchange for
the freedom to modify someone else's intellectual property.

I don't think we would hold (3)b as DFSG-free if it said:

(3)b. When modifications to the Software are released under this
      license, $100 dollars must be paid annually to the initial
      developer of the Software for the purpose of enabling distribution
      of your modification in future versions of the Software provided
      such versions remain available under these terms in addition to
      any other license(s) of the initial developer.

Agreed?  Is the intellectual property of a Debian Developer, or anyone
else, not worth anything?

Now, needless to say, many modifications will not be original works in
and of themselves and thus will not sustain a claim of copyright.

Clause (3)b. of the QPL is therefore either DFSG-nonfree, or redundant
with existing copyright law.

-- 
G. Branden Robinson                |    The basic test of freedom is
Debian GNU/Linux                   |    perhaps less in what we are free to
branden@debian.org                 |    do than in what we are free not to
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |    do.                  -- Eric Hoffer

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