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Re: OSD && DFSG - different purposes

Russell Nelson <nelson@crynwr.com> writes:

> Thomas Bushnell, BSG writes:
>  > You are ignoring the *substance* of DFSG and focusing on its literal
>  > wording.
> You have no argument why the literal meaning differs from the
> substance of #3.  You can't, because it doesn't.  Go read the
> rationale for #3.

The *substance* of #3 is to preserve the right to make changes such as
suit the *changer*.

Under your interpretation, I could have a license which prohibits "any
change of the software which would allow it to play Beethoven"!

>  > but the restriction that it adds for the other group (a
>  > requirement of public publication) is one that we have *never*
>  > recognized as DFSG-free.
> I know, and you can't point to anything in the DFSG that prohibits
> it.  You just *know* it to be true, as an article of faith.  So why
> point to the DFSG?  Why say DFSG-free when what you really mean --
> what the real test is -- is debian-legal-free.

Because debian-legal-free is a particular reading of the DFSG.  It is,
indeed, the authoritative(*) reading of the DFSG, and we are not
insensitive to the point behind the DFSG.  We are declaring, in fact,
what the DFSG means.  It's rather like what a court does when
interpreting a statute or a constitution.

(*): With the proviso that debian-legal is not the last word within
Debian; the FTP masters, the Project Leader, and the developers at
large have considerable authority too.  Debian-legal has authority in
that those other groups rely on our advice.


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