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Re: The Helixcommunity RPSL is not DFSG-free

Thomas Bushnell, BSG writes:
 > Russell Nelson <nelson@crynwr.com> writes:
 > > Don Armstrong writes:
 > >  > This section has the same issues that the APSL has. IE, it fails the
 > >  > two person variant of the desert island test. Why people keep
 > >  > introducing this onerous term into their licenses is beyond me.
 > > 
 > > Because they don't think it's fair for you to make changes that you've
 > > shared with some people, without sharing them with everyone.  What's
 > > wrong with licensing cooperation instead of hoping for it?
 > It's the desert island test (as Don Armstrong rightly points out).  If
 > you and your friend are on a desert island, and you share your changes
 > with your friend, then this forces you to publish them to the
 > world---even though you can't---and so you can't legally copy the
 > program.

Um ... who would you copy it to?  You've already shared the changes
with your friend.  There's nobody else -- and once there is, you can
give it to them, too.

Has anybody tried running the desert island test past a judge?  I
expect that most judges would start by turning up the ends of their
mouth, opening their mouth, and guffawing.

 > It also fails the Chinese dissident test.  Can a group of Chinese
 > dissidents use the software and share it among their friends,
 > complying with the license, but not bringing them into the risk of
 > severe political repression if the Chinese government doesn't like
 > what they say through their changes.

The code has to be published.  Use of the code does not.  If you give
your modifications to the FSF and say "Please publish this
anonymously", and they do, then you have complied with the license.

Besides which, the net effect of all that "deployment" language is to
say "If we can find out that you shared it with some people, then you
have to share it with everyone."  If the mechanism of the sharing is
such that it's kept a secret, then you don't have to worry about
sharing it, nor the consequences of not sharing it.

 > It is essential to free software that you have the right to keep your
 > changes private, and not be forced to share them with the world.

You have the right to keep your privacy.  The RPSL allows you that

-russ nelson              http://russnelson.com | A government does enough
Crynwr sells support for free software  | PGPok | wrong to offset what it
521 Pleasant Valley Rd. | +1 315 268 1925 voice | does right.  Better that
Potsdam, NY 13676-3213  | +1 315 268 9201 FAX   | it should do less.

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