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

On Sun, 2003-03-09 at 18:18, Anthony Towns wrote:
> In the dissident case, we're trying to protect the people from having to
> reveal their changes to the government they're protesting. But this just
> doesn't make any real sense: the code they're hacking on is the least of
> their worries - it's the contents of their databases, not their bugfix to
> select query processing that they need to keep private; and furthermore

What about DeCSS?

> it's the government's laws that will put them most at risk here -- of
> being accused of spying, eg -- not the copyright license. So from what
> I can see, we're protecting something of little value, and then doing
> a bad job of it.

But in order that users may evade the government's laws, Free Software
must allow certain freedoms (although Thomas Bushnell and I may disagree
on what they are).  

But the dissident test require licenses to allow every possible tactic
for evading laws which restrict certain activities.

For instance, consider a binary which is a game, unless it's called with
the --dissident command-line option, in which case, it's DeCSS (or
GPG).  Were the source code to this game revealed, it would show clearly
the nature of the program.  But the gov't doesn't have time to reverse
engineer the binaries (and anyway, DMCA2 prohibits it).  They do have
the time, however, to follow up on GPL (3)(b) offers.  Can dissidents
distribute binaries to everyone, and source code only to those they
trust?  Not according to many Free Software licenses.  

And I think the Dissident test as it now stands is clear on the above. 
It's not dispositive on every issue, as the debate shows.

-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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