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Re: PHP-Nuke License Conclusion?

On Tue, 2003-05-13 at 08:35, Henning Makholm wrote:
> Your only point seems to be that *sometimes* the description of
> such almost-but-not-quite-GPL licensing terms is phrased in unclear
> and possibly inconsistent ways. This in no way entails that *every*
> set of almost-but-not-quite-GPL licensing terms must be unclear and
> inconsistent.

Allow me to yell "straw man!" back to you, then, please. I don't argue
that. Instead I argue that using the FSF GPL boiler plate, "Foo is free
software; you can...", and then at the bottom tacking on additional
restrictions is inconsistent. I also argue that similar constructions
are inconsistent.

So, we might be agreeing here:

> Even here, you seem to argue that because "the way most people add
> restrictions" is wrong, and often internally inconsistent - which I do
> not deny, mind you - it is impossible to add restrictions.

I'm not sure how to reconcile "it is impossible to add restrictions"
with later portions of your message, snipped. Please clarify.

> || Debian interprets "this License" and "herein" to mean the
> || conditions of the GNU GPL expressed in its text; no more and no
> || less.
> which does not seem to me to acknowledge that there is a right way to
> add extra restrictions. (Right as in "probably legally sound", not
> right as in "free").

Sure there is. Modify the license, and call it something else. Snip off
the FSF spiel around it. Just like the GPL FAQ says.

If I distribute software under a hypothetical Anthony's Silly-like
License (ASlL), which just happens to very closely resemble the GPL, I
hope all of us here agree that ASlL must be evaluated for freeness on
its own merits: If as a whole ASlL meets the guidelines, it is free; if
not, is is non-free.

> But I still do not think you have offered any convincing arguments
> that "GPL with the following additional restrictions: [blah blah]"
> is a bad name to rename it to.


I guess you'd be fine as long as you remove the FSF preamble and change
the instructions at the end. Not sure what license the preamble and
instructions are under; essentially, the preamble is the FSF's
endorsement of the GPL, I doubt they'd like it on an almost-GPL license
unless they gave permission.

> On the contrary, I think it is the
> honest way to go about it, rather than reproducing the entire load
> of legalese as "the Foobar Public License" and hiding the
> incriminating restrictions in the midst of vaguely-familiar licensing
> text that nobody is going to read closely anyway because it just looks
> like a revamped GPL anyway.

It won't look at all like the GPL because it won't have the FSF
preamble, and will call itself by a different name. 

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