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Re: PHP-Nuke License Conclusion?

Scripsit Anthony DeRobertis <asd@suespammers.org>
> 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.

Certainly you didn't. I was speaking to Branden.

> 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.

That would depend on one's concrete interpretation of what "free
software" means. I agree that the licensing will only be consistent if
the extra restrictions are mentioned explicitly in the same sentence
that refers to the GPL.

> > 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.

It was the conclusion to the "because" earlier in the sentence.

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

I don't see how the very same license terms can be considered
"consistent" if they are given explicitly but "inconsistent" if they
are given as (unambigous) instructions for how to assemble the
text from the GPL plus other matter.

> 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.


> > 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.

*In practise* it will look very much like GPL to the fine people on
debian-legal who read licenses and try to find out wheter they are
free or not. The incriminating restrictions will be much easier to
find if they are spelled out explicitly as differences from the GPL
than if we have to do a visual diff ourselves to hunt them down.

Henning Makholm         "Nemo enim fere saltat sobrius, nisi forte insanit."

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