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

Re: OSD && DFSG convergence

Steve Langasek writes:
 > though, of course, our own *local* bureaucracy is such that it would
 > likely take some time before the DFSG were ever modified. :-)

I know.

 > >> I might suggest, however, you approach the LSB or other larger free
 > >> software standards organizations regarding a community-wide definition
 > >> of "free software", "open source", or whatever you want to call it.
 > > The problem here is that it is *you* who is angry at *us*.  We feel a
 > > need to heal that rift, and by "we" I mean the boards of the Open
 > > Source Initiative, Inc.  and Software in the Public Interest, Inc.
 > May I ask what the basis of that statement is?  I for one am not in the
 > least bit angry with the OSI.  Is there some reason I should be? :D

I don't think so, but I expect others here could make a case for it.

 > At the same time, I don't perceive the OSI as being directly relevant to
 > the work that Debian does; nor do I see any reason it should be.  You
 > yourself said that the OSI cannot be arbitrary.  While I wouldn't say
 > that Debian's reading of the DFSG is "arbitrary", I do think it's
 > important that Debian have the power to interpret the guidelines in the
 > spirit in which they were intended, and not be held by law to a literal
 > reading of the DFSG.

Right, well, we are more accountable than that.

 > It's not a matter of being able to remove objectionable terms from the
 > license; it's a matter of any license that contains such a term already
 > failing to meet the requirements of the DFSG as we understand them,
 > because the license must not unnecessarily restrict the creation of
 > derived works.

How does agreeing to a license restrict the creation of derived works?
If you don't agree to the terms of the license, then you HAVE no
freedom to create derived works.  There's a lot of licenses that don't 
require a manifestation of assent.  And yet the current case law says
that you can't enforce a license unless you've actually formed a
contract.  The user has to realize that they're agreeing to a
contract, and they have to do something which indicates that they
agree with the contract.

Netscape v. Specht turned on exactly that issue.  Netscape lost
because they didn't make it clear to Specht that he was agreeing to a

 > I think the GPL's requirement that a program display a disclaimer
 > of warranty and copyright notice when run interactively is about
 > the most that Debian developers are likely to concede as a
 > restriction on the nature of the modifications; and some will
 > concede that only because the GPL is grandfathered into the DFSG
 > explicitly.  Requiring that derivative works help the author
 > enforce an EULA against users is pretty non-free, IMHO.

There should be text in the DFSG that says that, then.

 > Still, I don't see that it would *hurt* anything to spell this out in
 > the DFSG; rather, I agree that it's better to make our intentions
 > explicit.

Good!  Now, as for the language we chose for our #10, we went around
and around and around, with "You can do this, but not that, and the
other thing", until finally Larry Rosen (our lawyer) said that the
problem was that some kind of affirmative assent is needed; we just
want to make sure that the license can't mandate an assent that our
distribution methods cannot provide.  Specifically: click-wrap.  So to
prevent any kind of click-wrap workarounds, we chose the language in
OSD #10.

-russ nelson              http://russnelson.com | You get prosperity when
Crynwr sells support for free software  | PGPok | the government does less,
521 Pleasant Valley Rd. | +1 315 268 1925 voice | not when the government
Potsdam, NY 13676-3213  | +1 315 268 9201 FAX   | does something right.

Reply to: