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Re: OSD && DFSG - different purposes

Russell Nelson <nelson@crynwr.com> writes:

> 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
> distributed).

No, not a contract.  Sorry, but no.  The GPL itself says it isn't a
contract.  What is agreed is that licenses are interpreted in the same
general way as contracts.  

> 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.

The GPL does not require you to publish your modifications, and that's
crucial.  Many seekrit projects have been done using GPL'd software.
The GPL requires you to provide the full source when you distribute,
but it does *not* require you to distribute.  It certainly doesn't
require you to publish to the world as a condition of distributing one
copy to your neighbor, and that's the problem here.

The desert-island test is a rubric, a metric, and it stands for many
things.  The RPSL says that if I give a copy, with modifications, to
my next-door neighbor, I must now become a web publisher for those

> 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.

I don't need you to roll over.  You are, at this point, quite

Are you asking what the DFSG means?  You've gotten the answer.

Are you asking if the RPSL satisfies the DFSG?  You've gotten the

What *are* you asking?

> 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.

OSD is perfectly free to rubber stamp our decisions.  But you are the
ones in the business of official certification, we are not.  We have a
hard enough job doing our job, without trying to take on yours.  

We interpret the DFSG for our purposes, as we always have, and we are
fairly content with what we have and with our processes.

You want us to modify our processes--why?  To make *your* job easier?
To encourage us to start doing your job?  Why is this something we
should do?

>From Day One it has been the insistence of Debian that the DFSG are
*Guidelines*, and NOT a "definition".  Your crowd decided they would
work as a "definition", and you are discovering that they don't, which
you were of course told at the time.  Now you want *us* to change
*our* guidelines, so that they do work as a definition.  WHY on
*earth* should we care about that project?

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