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Re: OSD && DFSG - different purposes

Thomas Bushnell, BSG writes:
 > Russell Nelson <nelson@crynwr.com> writes:
 > > Thomas Bushnell, BSG writes:
 > >  > > No, it doesn't.  The RPSL allows modifications.  It allows derived
 > >  > > works.  It allows them to be distributed under the same terms as the
 > >  > > license of the original software.  Since it complies with all three of
 > >  > > these terms, it complies with the logical and of them, which is #3.
 > >  > 
 > >  > No no, you miss the point.  The original software can be distributed
 > >  > without telling anyone anything except the recipient.
 > >  > 
 > >  > The modified software can be distributed only if you tell the public
 > >  > at large.  That is a different condition.
 > > 
 > > No, no, you miss the point.  The modified software can be distributed
 > > by the recipient without telling anyone anything except the 2nd
 > > recipient.
 > > 
 > > The modified software can be modified by the recipient only if he
 > > tellss the public at large.  This is the same condition.
 > So you are now saying that the license imposes a restriction on
 > modification even if I don't distribute anything at all?  That makes
 > it beyond the power of copyright law at all, it seems to me.

Thomas, a license is a contract.  When you accept the GPL, you are
entering into a contract.  There's an offer (distribute the software
and comply with the GPL), an acceptance (the act of distribution), and
consideration (the benefit of having one's software widely

I realize that some people don't believe this, and I'm really not
interested in arguing the point.  The fact is that some people believe
this, and it WILL be argued in a court of law if necessary.

Similarly, the RPSL is a contract, and as such may bind you to
anything you agree to let it bind you to.  Whether it complies with
the DFSG at the same time is a different matter.

All that said, the RPSL imposes on restrictions on modification.  You
can modify for your personal use without publishing.  You can modify
for a small circle of friends for development purposes.  Once you
deploy it, though, you must publish the modifications.  This is no
more a restriction on modification than is the GPL.  Neither the RPSL
nor the GPL prevent any modifications.

 > In any case, we have carefully explained to you how we interpret the
 > DFSG--and always have done.  Since the OSD was copied from the DFSG, I
 > assume that you, in the interests of preserving the synonymy of the
 > documents, will adjust the OSD interpretation to suit.
 > Or, rather, I expect you won't because your pretended interest in
 > synonymy is bullshit, and really just an attempt by the OSD to declare
 > to Debian how we will interpret and use *OUR* document which *YOU* got
 > from us.

It's no longer just *YOUR* document.  We have acquired part ownership
through use and improvement, just as you can do the same thing with
software in the open source world.  *YOU*, on the other hand, have
abandoned the DFSG, as far as I can tell, because *YOU*, have *NOT*
fixed *ANY* of its *PROBLEMS*.  *ALL* sar*CASM* in*TEN*ded.

I appreciate that you're frustrated by my inability to see through the
fog of my own thinking to your clear lofty thoughts.  Perhaps I really
am as stupid as I seem to be?  But given that I have (somehow, in
spite of my incompetence) acquired the ability to interpret the OSD in
my own manner, you're just going to have to deal with me.  You're not
going to roll over and play dead, and I'm not going to roll over and
play dead.

Now, can we get back to discussing this politely?

More than anything else, I'm wanting to see if it's at all possible to
work with you.  What I'd really like to do is let debian-legal judge
licenses, and have OSI rubber-stamp your decision.  In order to do
that, though, you'd need to modify the OSD so that it reflects your
current understanding of the DFSG and stands on its own.  It's just
not possible for us to say "If you want to find out what the OSD
really means, go read debian-legal."  That works for the DFSG (for
small values of "work", IMHO), but it's a non-starter for the OSD.

-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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