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

Re: mod_ldap for proftpd is now post-card licensed (proftpd 1.2.7+)...

[your linewrapping is weird]

On Wed, Feb 05, 2003 at 08:56:32AM +1300, Nick Phillips wrote:
> >"those alternative terms cannot restrict the licensing of the work 
> >under
> >the GPL, or the application of the GPL is void."
> >
> >...because it's not the GPL anymore.  It's a something-else license.
> If we agree above, then I think that statement is misleading; it would
> imply that the GPL as overridden by the "something else" is void.

I'm sorry, but I don't understand what's misleading about saying that
the GPL doesn't apply when it doesn't.

> On the second point, of course I agree that *overall*, it's not the
> GPL any more and should not be described as such.

I think it is sloppy to conceive of a license as being "overall" not the
GPL, but as being the GPL in some other sense.  A work is either
licensed under the GNU GPL or it is not.  (Admittedly, the FSF muddies
the waters a little bit by promoting the language "either version 2, or,
at your option, any later version" or words to that effect.)

> >Not invalid, but it doesn't make sense to pretend that such things are
> >licensed under the GNU GPL, because they aren't, despite the appearance
> >of the GNU GPL's license text.
> Agreed; it's the 'not invalid' that is important to me at this point.

I'm losing sight of what *is* important to you.  Please clarify.

> >What is self-delusional about my statement?  What more would you care
> >to read into my words?
> Not your statement then, clearly. Just those of several people who
> have evidently misinterpreted your original statement as described
> above.

I cannot be held wholly responsible for other people's
misinterpretations of my statements.  It takes two to communicate.  If
you'll point out who is employing my words to ends I did not intend, or
who is misrepresenting my position, I'll try to correct them.

> >It may not make sense.  The GPL could be effectively modified such that
> >the resulting license is nonsense.
> Agreed again; so could anything else. It's just not implicit in the
> situation described, which is the conclusion that often seems to be
> (erroneously) reached.

Conjoining a use restriction, as with the postcardware requirement under
discussion, with the GPL is impossible.  I do not understand what
misconception you are trying to defeat.

> Again possible, but not implicit.

I think you may be arguing against a straw man.  License riders on top
of the GPL are not inherently invalid or contradictory with the GPL
itself.  People use them all the time to permit linking against
GPL-incompatible libraries, for instance.  The FSF is fully cognizant of
this and even encourages it in particular circumstances.

That clueless people say clueless things about the GPL can't be all the
FSF's fault, just as clueless people saying clueless things about my
email messages cannot be all my fault.

> >I am disinterested in having a discussion with you if you're going to
> >put words in my mouth.  I'm sorry that you appear to be deeply
> >offended by the paragraph that Glenn Maynard quoted, but it doesn't
> >say the things you're accusing it of saying.  I suspect you are
> >letting your emotions get the better of you.
> Sorry, this part of my original mail was no longer directed at you in
> particular or indeed necessarily at all; I should probably have made
> that clear to start with.

Yes, please.  It is always good to note when you are changing the
audience to which your message is addressed in midstream.

> OK, I'd just like to be sure that we are being as straightforward as
> possible about these things, and not misleading authors.

I haven't seen any evidence that any misleading has been done in this
case.  Frankly, this seems a feeble defense of what appears to me to be
your ambiguation of the issue, rather than clarification.

> Maybe the best approach to people trying to do this kind of thing with
> the GPL would be to say something like "lots of people get confused
> when you start trying to add conditions around the GPL, so we'd
> suggest you don't do it..." ;)

Adding extra restrictions generally results in a non-license.  Adding
extra permissions is generally fine.  I therefore do not agree that your
recommended approach is prudent.  It will, I think, tend to reinforce a
widely-held misconception that the GPL doesn't play nicely without other
licenses.  The truth is that the GPL doesn't play nicely with licenses
that try to accomplish certain things.  There are several real and many
potential licenses with which the GPL has no conflict.

G. Branden Robinson                |      Intellectual property is neither
Debian GNU/Linux                   |      intellectual nor property.
branden@debian.org                 |      Discuss.
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |      -- Linda Richman

Attachment: pgpL33jAHTIZu.pgp
Description: PGP signature

Reply to: