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Re: PHPNuke license

On Tue, Mar 04, 2003 at 04:41:50PM -0500, Branden Robinson wrote:
> On Tue, Mar 04, 2003 at 01:31:16PM -0600, John Goerzen wrote:
> > I think it boils down to this.  When I run a KDE app, I think it's
> > reasonable to ensure that the About box maintains a reference to the
> > original author for modified versions.  Or the splash screen for "bc".  Or
> > an interactie OfflineIMAP.
> I don't think all of these are the same thing.
> I don't like splash screens, but I will tolerate them as long as I'm not
> forbidden from removing them.

You can always remove things for yourself.

> About boxes are fine, but I am not sure it is wise to permit a Free
> Software license to forbid people from removing them.  It makes perfect
> sense to remove an About box if, for instance, one is converting an
> application into a library.

I agree.  (2)(c) should only apply when an application is run interactively. 
If you make an application into a library, it'd never be run interactively,
so its relevance should disappear.  I know I haven't worded this quite
right, but you get the idea.

> Brief blurbs about copyright, licensing, and lack of warranty are fine
> as long as they don't intrude on an output stream that I might be able
> to feed into another tool for processing.  Material intended for human
> consumption should not be rammed down the throats of simple tools.

Yup, and I'd say it's not being run interactively in this case, so 2c
shouldn't apply.

> I personally favor strict interpretation of licenses, with some
> cognizance of historical precedent, and a liberal interpretation of the
> DFSG, such that it can be read broadly to exclude licenses.  I think
> this is a far better approach for preserving users' freedom than the
> converse -- and preserving users' freedom is in fact the explicit
> purpose of the DFSG.

I agree with you, but I'm not sure you are encouraging a strict
interpretation of the GPL in some of your other messages :-)

Of course, we need to beware that the historical precedent that counts, when
it comes to determining what exactly a license permits, is case law and not
online discussions.  For deciding whether a license is DFSG-free, that's
another matter entirely.

-- John

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