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Re: DFSG analysis of default LDP license



Branden Robinson wrote:
> > It's annoying, but does not really make it not free, I hope. Remember
> > that we dealt with the FSF snail mail address changing; said address is
> > in the GPL and is in copyright statements that point to the GPL. Many
> > licenses and statements of copyright contain information that will
> > become obsolete, email addresses are another good example.
> > 
> > Anyway, this license seems to leave plenty of room for modifying the
> > pointer to the original unmodified document. Unlike the GPL, which may
> > or may not be modifiable (the FSF address is in the preamble, and also
> > in the example use bit at the end, we've heard conflicting things about
> > the preamble modification). And if all other upstream sources go away, I
> > think the license even allows us to change the location pointer to point
> > to packages.debian.org, where after all you can get the .orig.tar.gz.
> 
> Well, I'm willing to go along with this, but it means adding yet another
> exception to our "no invariant text" rule, in addition to the five I
> already enumerated.

I'm having a hard time with the idea of calling a peice of text that
we're allowed to keep up to date "invariant". Maybe "unremovable" or
something. We can probably come up with requirements for unremovable
text that would be so onerous as to be effectively non-free, but the
line is in a different place than the line for invariant texts.

> I'd rather see this clause clarified until it can do some good, or
> stricken entirely so it doesn't serve as bad precedent for more
> invariant text requirements.

Unfortunatly given what Colin said about the LDP being tired of hearing
about copyright issues from him, they don't seem very likely to listen
or clarify the license. 

And I would hardly rate this amoung the worst written licenses in
Debian. Licenses seem to either be written by a non-lawyer, and thus be
vague, self contradicting, and prone to misinterpretaton, and thus suck;
or be written by a lawyer, and thus be impossible to understand if
you're not one, possibly contain poison pills, and skirt the very edges
of the DFSG, and thus suck. :-P

-- 
see shy jo

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