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Re: OSD && DFSG - different purposes


On Wed, Mar 05, 2003 at 08:12:57PM -0600, Ean Schuessler wrote:

> The underlying reason I see an advantage to the community encouraging a
> unified definition of Free Software is government legislation. It is
> fairly obvious to me that neither patents nor Free Software are going to
> go away anytime soon. As a result we are going to see various
> compromises made about what is and what isn't fair play as legislators
> work through these problems. If legislators are left with a confusing
> picture of what the community wants then we can be assured that those
> compromises will not make us happy.

> Therefore, it is in the best interests of the community to overcome the
> obstacles blocking a unified process. Whether the various players can do
> that is a different matter entirely.

It seems to me that the most important factor in not confusing our
legislators is coordination among the people actually talking to those
legislators.  I don't think the DFSG *or* the OSD has much at all to do
with this; indeed, the DFSG doesn't speak to patents at all, so how can
it give our legislators any sort of an idea of what we'd want from
patent legislation?

If what you're after is a Patent Position Paper for the Community, I
think the correct solution is to write such a document -- not to twist
licensing guidelines (or a license certification definition) so that
they can double as one.  I would guess that with such a concrete goal in
mind, you would find many of the debian-legal denizens more than happy
to help draft a suitable statement.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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