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Re: OSD && DFSG - different purposes - constructive suggestion!

Anthony Towns <aj@azure.humbug.org.au> writes:

> Personally, if we're going to document this and use it as an official test
> rather than a helpful rule of thumb, I don't think we need to be insulting
> a country that's potentially going all pro-Linux while we need to do it.

So what you're saying is, as long as China claims to stand for free
software, it doesn't much matter to you how many people they kill and
jail for actually trying to exercise any freedom?

The PRC has an extraordinarily repressive attitude towards the use of
computers; they want the technology but they don't want to be told
that their citizens might have a natural human right to read what they
wish and write what they wish, and they stamp out those who try to
assert and use either of those rights.

It shames me no end that the United States will "play ball" with China
and turn a blind eye to such gross and immoral violations of freedom,
provided only there's a buck to be made.  When I get upset that France
will support any repressive regime, provided only they promise to keep
speaking French, the words choke in my throat, since my own country
will tolerate such horrid abuses as long as we make a buck.

Now you're saying that we must be nice and polite to the PRC.  Let's
all be friends!  (And not pay attention to the people crushed by the
tanks.)  I remember Tianenmen Square; it seems that the world has
mostly forgotten.

> I'm inclined to wonder about the point of this test anyway; in such a
> regime, the government's going to be in a stronger position to demand
> access to the modifications than the copyright holder anyway, so the
> license conditions seem a bit irrelevant.

Sure, and the desert island test also is kind of silly and extreme.  I
don't know if we need to codify them in a FAQ or not; Barak seemed to
think it was a good idea, and I don't see any reason to think it's a
bad idea.

> The FSF's privacy freedom is:
>    You should also have the freedom to make modifications and use them
>    privately in your own work or play, without even mentioning that they
>    exist. If you do publish your changes, you should not be required to
>    notify anyone in particular, or in any particular way.
> which doesn't imply the "dissident test". The key point's always been "not
> having to go to any effort just to use the program", and "not having to go
> to too much effort just to pass it around to some friends"; so is the QPL's
> clause really that evil? Would a clause in the RPSL to the effect of:

Well, the FSF's privacy freedom *does* seem to imply the Chinese
Dissident test, to me.  

> 	(a) If this program generates HTML pages, they must include
> 	    a comment in the HTML source that they were generated by
> 	    this program and include its copyright notice.

Such a forced publication requirement doesn't violate the Chinese
Dissident test; it's a problem for an entirely different reason: it
outright prohibits certain kinds of modification, which isn't at all
connected with maintaining the copyright and license status of the

> 	(b) If asked by the authors, you must provide them with a copy
> 	    of your changes to the source code changes at cost.

"If you do publish your changes, you should not be required to notify
anyone in particular."


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