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Re: Bug#143063 acknowledged by developer (Bug#143063: fixed in mmix 1:0.0.20020615-3)

Julian Gilbey <jdg@debian.org> wrote:

> Thanks for adopting the package.  However, I really do not understand
> how it conflicts with point four:
> DFSG point four:
>   4. Integrity of The Author's Source Code
>      The license may restrict source-code from being distributed in modified
>      form _only if the license allows the distribution of "patch files" with
>      the source code for the purpose of modifying the program at build time.
> *    The license must explicitly permit distribution of software built from
> *    modified source code. The license may require derived works to carry a
> *    different name or version number from the original software. (This is a
>      compromise. The Debian group encourages all authors to not restrict any
>      files, source or binary, from being modified.)
> Note the starred lines.
> Now the mmix license (from boilerplate.w, minus markup):
>     (c) 1999 Donald E. Knuth
>     This file may be freely copied and distributed, provided that no
>     changes whatsoever are made. All users are asked to help keep the
>     MMIXware files consistent and ``uncorrupted,'' identical
>     everywhere in the world. Changes are permissible only if the
>     modified file is given a new name, different from the names of
>     existing files in the MMIXware package, and only if the modified
>     file is clearly identified as not being part of that package.
> How does that go against the DFSG point four?  He permits changes,
> modifications and redistribution thereof, but only if the file names
> are modified and the changes are identified.

It has been argued (during the LaTeX license debate) that "the license
may require derived works to carry a different name" refers to the
software or package name, and not a functional item such as a source
code filename (which makes modification much more difficult).


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