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Re: PHPNuke license

On Tue, Mar 04, 2003 at 04:26:17PM -0600, John Goerzen wrote:
> On Tue, Mar 04, 2003 at 04:31:17PM -0500, Branden Robinson wrote:
> > Can you remind me of the advantages of NOT interpreting as "object form"
> > as "any form other than the preferred form for modification"?
> For the detailed description, see
> http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2003/debian-legal-200303/msg00131.html

I've read it.

> In a nutshell, I don't know of any reasonable person that would define
> "object code" as the output of tr a-z A-Z on a text file.

Nice to meet you.  :)  That is, I'm perfectly willing to accept that as
an example of "object code" if the only alternative is to call it
"source code".

> By altering the definition here, we create ambiguity.  This makes
> things weak in the court, more litigation-prone, and harder to
> interpret -- as we see here.
> If a court looks at this, and sees "object code", can we really know in
> advance if they would use the normal definition or this "liberal" one?  I
> suspect they would use the normal one, which is another problem.

What if we had a license like the GPL that used "source form" instead of
"source code", "transformed form" instead of "object code" and
"executable form", and "Work" instead of "Program"?

> If the license iteself defined object form that way, that'd be one thing. 
> (It'd be confusing, but we could evaluate it only one way.)
> But it doesn't define "object code" at all.

The FSF does provide a hint, by saying "object code or executable form"
in two places.  They probably figured an expert witness or two would be
able to dispose of the issue should it ever reach court.

G. Branden Robinson                |     Don't use nuclear weapons to
Debian GNU/Linux                   |     troubleshoot faults.
branden@debian.org                 |     -- US Air Force Instruction 91-111
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |

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