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Re: PHPNuke license



On Wed, Mar 05, 2003 at 11:55:07AM -0600, John Goerzen wrote:
> > 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 :-)

Peple can and do apply the GNU GPL to things that aren't software
(you've done so yourself, I think ;-) ).

Under such circumstances, we can reasonably believe the copyright
holder's intent to be DFSG-free, and I think it makes more sense to do
the best we can to interpret the GNU GPL in the non-software context,
rather than reject the license entirely and tell the author to try
again.

So, yeah, I'm a strict constructionist when it comes to licenses, but
I try not to be an idiot[1] about it.  :)  Where the underlying intent is
pro-freedom I'm willing to indulge in some flexibility, because it
rewards the copyright holder for doing a noble thing by contributing
to the creative commons, and the commons is this enriched for the
benefit of our users.

I do not think it is insignificant that non-software cannot have (2)(c)
problems.

> 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.

Where such case law actually exists, yes, we need to take it into
account.  As far as I know, most Free Software licenses have not been
the object of court battles.  Even the AT&T/Berkeley fight didn't result
in a precedent, because it was settled out of court.

[1] HELLO, JUSTICES REHNQUIST, SCALIA, AND THOMAS

-- 
G. Branden Robinson                |      The greatest productive force is
Debian GNU/Linux                   |      human selfishness.
branden@debian.org                 |      -- Robert Heinlein
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |

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