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Re: Standard non-copyleft free license?

On Mon, Mar 17, 2003 at 12:57:14PM -0500, Don Armstrong wrote:
> On Mon, 17 Mar 2003, Branden Robinson wrote:
> > License documents that succumb excessively to lawyer's desires to
> > have many "sticks" with which to "beat" the licensee should be
> > rejected as non-DFSG-free, because they don't promote freedom.
> I don't think we really need to worry about whether a license promotes
> freedom; we should worry whether a license restricts that freedom or
> not.

I disagree.  Our Social Contract says that our priorities are our users
and Free Software.  This means that we expect ourselves to be advocates
of and defenders of these priorities.

We're not just committed to not making life *worse* for our users and
Free Software.  These are guiding principles that direct our actions;
not merely toggle switches on a veto stamp.

We're not merely committed to preventing backsliding.  We're committed
to forward progress.

> > Licenses that terrorize the licensee and discourage him or her from
> > exercising the rights he or she should be able to expect from a Free
> > Software license are not the sort of thing people should need to
> > worry about coming from Debian main.
> Certainly. I'm just commenting on the motivation behind the clause.
> Since the actual action that the clause prevents is (at least in the
> US) illegal in itself, I don't see a significant problem for Debian.

I don't care what's legal or illegal; the law could change tomorrow, and
over the past few years in the U.S. this has actually happened a few

It is not the job of a copyright license to reiterate what is or is not
legal in a particular jurisdiction.  The job of a copyright license is
to *grant permissions*.  If you don't want to grant any permissions, you
don't need a license at all.

G. Branden Robinson                |    Men use thought only to justify
Debian GNU/Linux                   |    their wrong doings, and speech only
branden@debian.org                 |    to conceal their thoughts.
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |    -- Voltaire

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