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Re: PHPNuke license

On Wed, Mar 05, 2003 at 10:58:34AM -0600, Steve Langasek wrote:
> Let's see if we can build consensus around a few points.
> Does anyone here hold the position that requiring the copyright notice on
> the front page would not be DFSG-free, if that's a valid interpretation
> of the GPL?

I do.  PHPNuke is going to fail the DFSG test anyway (unless the
copyright holder changes his mind about requring the notice
*everywhere*) and there is a chance the FSF is going to kick the current
form of (2)(c) to the curb in the next version of the GPL anyway.  I
know of no software in Debian main that is already availing itself of
this reading of GPL (2)(c).

Therefore, I do not see that any worthwhile goal is served in
encouraging copyright holders to take advantage of the loophole we are
creating (or endorsing).  Neither our users nor Free Software
(collectively) would appear to benefit.

> Does anyone believe the GPL unambiguously *dis*allows that
> interpretation?

Heh.  I don't believe the GPL is sufficiently unambiguous to clarify
this point at all, so no.

> Does anyone believe that this interpretation is sufficiently wrong-headed
> that it should not be considered valid, in spite of statements from the
> copyright holder or a court ruling?

(Parse failure.  Restarting.)

Does anyone feel that this interpretation is so-wrong headed that it's
invalid, in spite of statements from the copyright holder or a court

We have a responsibility to interpret the DFSG and software licenses as
beast we can.  Statements from copyright holders and court rulings can
only be advisory, and should not be binding upon us (of course, court
rulings can be binding upon our actual distribution of software, and
this is something the archive admins have to take into account -- for
instance, there may be perfectly DFSG-freely-licensed DeCSS
implementations, but it could be problematic for the Debian Project to
distribute them in the U.S.).

Valid in what sense?  Valid for us, valid for anyone?  I need help to
understand your question.

G. Branden Robinson                |    Build a fire for a man, and he'll
Debian GNU/Linux                   |    be warm for a day.  Set a man on
branden@debian.org                 |    fire, and he'll be warm for the
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |    rest of his life. - Terry Pratchett

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