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Re: A possible GFDL compromise: a proposal

On Fri, Sep 12, 2003 at 11:37:18AM -0500, Joe Wreschnig wrote:
> On Thu, 2003-09-11 at 17:59, Branden Robinson wrote:
> > On Thu, Sep 11, 2003 at 12:49:06AM -0500, Joe Wreschnig wrote:
> > > > I would say that the LPPL is not equal. Because it requires you to
> > > > change the name of the files you modify and that's a direct problem
> > > > when using LaTeX.
> > I feel compelled to point out that the fact that the restriction was
> > less odious for LaTeX specifically did not render it DFSG-free
> > ("acceptable"?) in my view.
> Interestingly enough, the FSF does *not* share your opinion. From
> http://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.html:

I was aware of that.

> The last sentence reads to me like the FSF is saying that a severe
> enough practical problem *does* make a license non-free, despite RMS
> claiming (but not explaining) directly the opposite earlier.

You might be right.  There may be an inconsistency here.

> (Personally, I also considered the renaming-required LPPL versions
> non-free. Evaluating whether a license is free or not based on the
> specific program licensed under it is stupid.)

I agree.  The copyright holder's interpretation of the license, however,
can be important, as we've seen with the University of Washington and

There's nothing we can do about the subjective opinions of copyright
holders, though.  I think a license evaluation policy that is completely
neutral to the nature of the work so licensed has a benefit in that it
enables us to construct a more broadly applicable "case law history",
and similarly should make our reasoning more predictable.

That's an especially valuable property for third parties who come to
Debian seeking to resolve licensing issues, or get their questions

G. Branden Robinson                |    You should try building some of the
Debian GNU/Linux                   |    stuff in main that is
branden@debian.org                 |    modern...turning on -Wall is like
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |    turning on the pain. -- James Troup

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