Re: Licences with mutually exclusive terms
MJ Ray <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
> Is it true that a copyright licence with mutually exclusive terms are
> non-free? Further, is a licence saying:
> You may prepare, copy and distribute derived works of this
> software. However, you may not modify this work.
That is not mutually exclusive. Copyright exists only on works in a
fixed form. So, for example, it allows me to write a translation --
clearly not a modification, but is a derived work. It allows me to
inspect the work and quote parts in my own. Bug fixes might or might
not be allowed -- depends on whether you consider that making a copy,
which is then modified, or simply modifying the original.
> ...specifying mutually exclusive terms? What does it mean.
But in cases where it does happen, I think it's evidence that the
author doesn't fully understand the license he's writing. The best --
only -- course for Debian is to not distribute the work at all. It
might be possible to distribute it in non-free, if there's a clear
permission to distribute unmodified copies... but better safe than
sorry, I think.
> I am particularly interested in past cases; either discussions on
> debian-legal, or from the courts. I realise this may be off-topic for
> debian-legal. If I get replies off-list, I will summarise them.
This has happened to Debian before. Usually, the upstream author is
contacted and the issue amicably resolved. I can recall only one
case which remains confused: the Computer Modern fonts, which are part
of the TeX/METAFONT distribution.
> Many thanks in advance for any help,
> MJR/slef My Opinion Only and possibly not of any group I know.
> Please http://remember.to/edit_messages on lists to be sure I read
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Brian Sniffen firstname.lastname@example.org