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Re: LPPL and non-discrimination

Jonathan Fine said:
> The proposed new LPPL discriminates between person(s) who
> are the Current Maintainer, and those who are not.
> I have suggested that this is against Debian guideline 5 -
> non-discrimination.
> Two contributions have said, for various reasons, that the
> guideline does not apply in this situation.
> Suppose the proposed LPPL discrimination is allowed.  How
> then can discrimination such as:
>   If the licensee is ABC Software Inc then the licensee
>   may freely incorporate this work into its proprietary
>   software.
> be resisted?

Let me propose a situation for you:  I've written a program from scratch;
I am the sole author.  I distrubte it under the GNU GPL.  You agree with
me that it is unambiguously Free Software, correct?  Now, in exchange for
money, I license somebody else to modify and distribute my code in any way
he pleases (that is, I use the MIT/X11 license).  At some later point, I
publish that I've done this.  At some later point, I extend my work to
link against OpenSSL, and so begin distributing it under the GPL, with an
additional grant of permission to link against OpenSSL.  In your model, at
what point does my software become non-free?
The real answer, of course, is that it never does: anybody can treat it as
free software, so it is free software.  That I have licensed shockingly
similar code to someone else, who has done something with it in a non-free
way, changes nothing.
As another example, the BSD networking code has been incorporated into
parts of MS Windows; this does not stop the original code from being Free

Brian Sniffen                                       bts@alum.mit.edu

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