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GPLv3 2(d) (was Re: PHPNuke license)

On Fri, 2003-03-07 at 09:12, Brian T. Sniffen wrote:
> >> Wouldn't a requirement that if you make the software available for
> >> to another party, you provide an offer of source to those users
> >> much more sense, and avoid entanglements with the function of the
> >> software?
> >
> > That would be impossible under US copyright law, where "use" isn't
> > of the 17 usc 106 exclusive rights, while modification is.  
> Public performance is restricted by copyright law; I'd certainly
> consider an Apache web server to be a public performance of Apache.

That is an open question.  I understand that one idea for v3 is to write
something like, "If running software is public performance, you can do
it, so long as [ (2)(d)-like thing ]".  I haven't sen text on it.

> In any case, there's another problem I allude to above but didn't
> mention clearly: the existing requirements for source distribution are
> very flexible.  This proposed 2d imposes technical limitations on
> functionality.
> Every time a license tries to use exact technical definitions, it ends
> up breaking a few years later. 

Yes, that's a known bug. We welcome suggestions for generalizations.

> I'd far prefer to see a GPLv3 grant and guarantee more freedom, not 
> less:
> * Remove technical requirements such as 2c, 

I agree that (2)(c) as it stands is broken.

> the object/executable langauge in 3

I have no idea what you are talking about here.  

>  the header/Makefile 

Do you mean that source code should not include Makefiles ("the scripts
used to control compilation and installation of the executable")?

> and OS exceptions in the later
>   section of 3.

I do not think you really want to remove the major component exception
-- doing so would basically make Free Software impossible on proprietary
operating systems.

> * Remove the strange definition that a work containing nothing both
>   creative and derived from a GPL'd work be considered a derivative of
>   the GPL'd work: that is, remove the definition that linking is
>   modification.  It's not in the license now, but clearly state that
>   if you incorporate nothing creative from the GPL's work, you are not
>   a derivative work.

This contradicts case law (Microstar v. Formgen, perhaps others I don't
know about), and FSF's general goals.  

> * Add "public performance" to the scope clause in 0, permitting (for
>   example) me to give a lecture on the details of GNUtls, 

This would probably be public display, since performance is *of* a work,
not *about* a work. 

> or to run a
>   web server which presents an interface to Perl.

I agree with this generally, modulo what I said above.  I can't,
however, come up with good text.

-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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