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Re: The Show So Far

On Fri, Mar 14, 2003 at 10:54:42AM +1000, Anthony Towns wrote:
> Seriously, you're welcome to hate the clause all you like; there are
> people out there who hate BSD licensing and others who hate GPL licensing.
> You do need something stronger than a firm opinion and a lot of repetition
> to declare it non-free, though.

But we can turn this around, and it's just as true.

You're welcome to love, and/or regard as "reasonable", all the crazy
restrictions on modification and distribution you like.  But you need
something stronger than a firm opinion and a lot of reptition to delcare
it free.

What is and is not a "reasonable" restriction on modification (or, if I
had my druthers, on *distribution* of modifications), is the very
question that so many recent threads on this list have been trying to

It's easy to be contemptuous of "Chinese Dissident" or "Fred the Lawyer"
tests, but if the alternative is repetitious exposition of people's gut
feelings -- which will surely differ -- how have we improved on these
tests?  How have we demonstrated that we, as a project, as least have
some comprehensible heuristics for evaluating software licenses, since
algorithmic processes such as the one OSI appears to be attempting to
implement have notable shortcomings (from our perspective)?

G. Branden Robinson                |      We either learn from history or,
Debian GNU/Linux                   |      uh, well, something bad will
branden@debian.org                 |      happen.
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |      -- Bob Church

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