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Re: Bug#158320: ITP: cl-defsystem3 -- A system definition and building package for Common Lisp programs



On Thu, Nov 14, 2002 at 10:44:43PM -0700, Kevin Rosenberg wrote:
> Branden Robinson wrote:
> > > ;;; following conditions are met:
> > > ;;;      o distribution of a modification to the Software have been
> > > ;;;        previously submitted to the maintainers; if the maintainers
> > > ;;;        decide not to include the submitted changes, the "full
> > > ;;;        name" of the re-distributed Software ("MK:DEFSYSTEM", or
> > > ;;;        "MAKE:DEFSYSTEM", or "MK-DEFSYSTEM") must be changed.
> >
> > The above clause is not DFSG-free.  Prior notice of modifications is not
> > compatible with DFSG 3.  Also, in case it matters, this restriction
> > renders the software GPL-incompatible.
> > 
> > Followups redirected to the ITP bug number and debian-legal.
> 
> Thanks for forwarding to debian-legal. Is the violation #1 "free
> distribution"? That the requirement to submit changes to the
> maintainers constitutes a restriction? Also, is the requirement to
> change the name also non-DFSG compatible?
> 
> Thanks for catching this, Brandon.

(It's "Branden", BTW.)

As I recall, clauses of the form "you have to submit patches to the
maintainer/copyright holder" have been rules as violations of DFSG #6:

  # 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.

This is because people without network connections, stranded on desert
islands, or performing modifications to software while under NDA or
contact are effectively prevented from being able to modify the software
at all.

Note that the GNU GPL, for example, doesn't suffer from this problem
because it only compels the revelation of modified source code (or an
offer of same) to parties to whom one is distributing binaries.  There
is thus a known existing avenue of communication between the parties.
You can thus maintain a "private fork" of a piece of DFSG-free software
without having to answer to anyone outside the circle of people to whom
it is redistributed.

The same is also true of the MIT/X11 and BSD-style licenses because
they're much more permissive generally.

-- 
G. Branden Robinson                |
Debian GNU/Linux                   |     Cogitationis poenam nemo meretur.
branden@debian.org                 |
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |

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