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Re: PHPNuke license

On Fri, 2003-03-07 at 10:43, Branden Robinson wrote:
> On Fri, Mar 07, 2003 at 02:08:26AM +0100, Henning Makholm wrote:
> > Scripsit Don Armstrong <don@donarmstrong.com>
> > 
> > > You're ignoring 2 itself:
> > 
> > >    2.  You may modify your copy or copies of the Program or any
> > >    portion of it, thus forming a work based on the Program, and copy
> > >    and distribute such modifications or work under the terms of
> > >    Section 1 above, provided that you also meet all of these
> > >    conditions:[4]
> > 
> > Which is ambiguous in itself. It can either mean
> > 
> >   You may modify provided blah, AND you may copy provided blah.
> > 
> > or
> > 
> >   You may [modify and then copy] provided blah.
> > 
> > Such are the wonders of natural language.
> I'd like to go on record as requesting that the FSF clarify this in
> future versions of the GNU GPL, such that only distribution of
> modifications are limited by the license, not modification in and of
> itself.  

I do not think this is going to happen, especially given AGPL's (2)(d).

Indeed, in the current version, it is *perfectly clear* that mere
modification triggers (2)(a) and (2)(c).  If it did not, why would
(2)(b) specifically mention distribution?  

> Imposing constraints on simple modification[1] is of
> questionable utility given the difficulty of enforcement, 

Enforcement should not be too hard.  Most violation reports I get are
from users of the programs, and some are from employees of violating

> to say nothing
> of potential clashes with the principles of Fair Use, 

I don't see a conflict here.  If it happens that removal of (2)(c) and
(2)(d) stuff in the absence of any copying or distribution is considered
fair use, then those sections won't hold.  But I don't think it is,
given Texaco.  

> and the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of privacy rights[2].

If the plain language of Article 1, Section 8 doesn't restrict the term
of copyright, what makes you think that the ambiguity of Amendment 9
will restrict its scope? 

And again, Texaco was private too.  If you find me a case (and I
couldn't find one either way), then we'll talk about the Constitution
and Fair Use.  

> Mr. Turner, can you pass this along to the appropriate people?

I've already expressed to people here that Debian-legal has serious
reservations about (2)(c) and (2)(d).  Do you want me to tell Eben that
you think section 2, in the absence of distribution, is unenforcable?  I
doubt that he would agree with you, and you are welcome to

-Dave Turner                     Stalk Me: 617 441 0668

"On matters of style, swim with the current, on matters 
of principle, stand like a rock." -Thomas Jefferson

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