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Re: The Helixcommunity RPSL is not DFSG-free

Thomas Bushnell, BSG writes:
 > Russell Nelson <nelson@crynwr.com> writes:
 > > 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.
 > What?  The point is that the license requires you to make them
 > publically available.  I don't know what that means, do you?  If it
 > means "must take any positive step to make them available", then it
 > fails the desert island test.

If you're on a desert island, and you have made them accessible to
everyone you can reach, then you have complied with the terms of the

 > You must have completely misunderstood the desert island test.  It's a
 > rubric *WE* use to measure whether a license is a free software
 > license.  If the license depends on being "in contact" with the rest
 > of the world, then it fails the desert island test.

Do you think the RPSL fails the "in contact" test?  Certainly the
Bitkeeper license does.  But more to the point, the law does not
expect the impossible of you.  If you have made every effort to comply
with the terms of a license, and anyone can see that it is impossible
for you to do so, a judge isn't going to hold you to that term.  The
common law has a lot of common sense in it -- much more so than the
legislated law, which has the DMCA &etc.

 > > 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.
 > Well, that's not what the license says, is it?

Sigh.  And that's not what the DFSG says, is it?  The RPSL complies
with what the DFSG says, but as we've determined heretofore, the DFSG
actually says anything y'all want it to say.

-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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