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

Re: proposed licence change for moodle

On Tue, 2003-01-21 at 22:28, Sam Hartman wrote:
> >>>>> "David" == David Turner <novalis@gnu.org> writes:
>     David> I think that a logo is beyond a copyright notice that 2 (c)
>     David> requires the preservation of.  Why not suggest switching to
>     David> the AGPL?
> Does that actually meet DFSG?

I don't know if it's ever been discussed.  I feel strongly that the DFSG
is a good way to judge whether software is free or not, and I think that
the AGPL meets a proper reading of DFSG.

Unfortunately, DFSG doesn't discuss what sorts of modifications can be
restricted.  The Apache license restricts modifications that *don't*
also modify the name.  The GPL forbids removing code from interactive
programs which displays copyright notices.  The AGPL forbids removing
code which makes the source code available to users of the software. 
The Microsoft Word EULA forbids all changes.  

Which of these are acceptable depends on where you want to draw the
line.  I would argue that any restriction on modification must serve a
compelling Free Software interest unrelated to restrictions on
modification, and be the least restrictive means possible of
accomplishing its goal.  I know that this is a rather American way of
putting it, but it's hard to overcome my upbringing.

Letting users of software get at the source code (which is the aim of
the AGPL's (2)(d)) is certainly such a compelling interest.  If Xpdf had
enshrined its DRM code with licensing, due to its stated goal of
following the intent of the author (rather than the law or the goals of
the user), this would not be such a compelling interest.  If the AGPL
had forbidden modification completely to the subsection which delivers
the source code (rather than requiring the equivalent functionality),
this would have been a more restrictive means than necessary.

Keep in mind, here, that I'm not speaking for the FSF, which doesn't
think about the DFSG at all.  

-Dave Turner
GPL Compliance Engineer
Support my work: http://svcs.affero.net/rm.php?r=novalis&p=FSF

Reply to: