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Re: Squeak in Debian?

On Wed, Apr 28, 2004 at 04:01:09PM -0400, Lex Spoon wrote:
> Martin, it's great of you to do a summary.  My thoughts included below.
> Henning Makholm <henning@makholm.net> wrote:
> > Scripsit Martin Schulze <joey@infodrom.org>
> > 
> > > ...
> > > | "This License allows you to copy, install and use the Apple Software on an
> > > | unlimited number of computers under your direct control."
> > 
> > > | Purports to restrict use.  Doesn't allow use on computers not "under your
> > > | direct control", which is a substantial restriction; it probably prohibits
> > > | it from being installed by a Debian admin onto a Debian machine which is
> > > | hosted elsewhere.  :-P
> > 
> > > What's this?
> > 
> > Confused drafting, probably leftover from adaptations of commercial
> > licenses that restricts the number of installations.
> > 
> > I'm not convinced that this is necessarily a DFSG problem, but if one
> > has to get clarification from upstream about the "valid, binding
> > license" part above, one might just as well ask for this to be
> > clarified (or left out entirely).
> I read this as Squeak-L drawing the line between usage and distribution.
>  If you cross the line then you do not get to use the "usage"
> permissions, but you can still use the "distribution" permissions.
> There may be a free-ness issue, in that Squeak-L may draw the line more
> narrowly than is assumed by DFSG; thus some DFSG "uses" would be
> Squeak-L "distributions", and Squeak-L distribution permissions may be
> insufficient for DFSG's requirements for usage.
> ...

I happen to have seen and worked with similar language in other
licenses (as a programmer/user, IANAL, TINLA).  And I think you
are reading this phrase wrong.  This boilerplate language does
not distinguish use from distribution.  It distinguishes which
actions are not distribution and do not need to comply with
distribution requirements at all.  It tries to answer that old
question that people ask of the GPL: "If I copy this program
from the computer in my office to the computer in the lab, is
that distribution? do I need to give myself a 3 year offer for
source?  do I need to check license compatibility?"

The term "under your direct control" typically does not refer to
physical access or knowledge of the root password etc., it
usually refers to "under your [licensee as legal entity] direct
[legal] control", that is any computer that the licensee (which
may be a person, company, organisation etc.) has the *legal*
command over, typically by owning, renting, leasing, borrowing,
getting as sponsorship etc.

So if a DD is working with weak guest privileges on a remote
computer, the use of which has been donated as a sponsorship to
SPI, and the software is licensed to SPI (not the DD), then SPI
may do the things in the clause without that being an act of
distribution, and SPI may use the DD as a tool to do that work.

In contrast if the software is licensed to the DD as a person
and the computer was not donated to the DD as a person, then
this clause does not apply to anything the DD does on that
computer, even if the DD is standing in front of the computer
logged in as root and with full access to every part of the
opened up computer cabinet.  But it would apply to something
that the DDs friend is doing for the DD on DDs laptop, even if
the DD has no physical or network access to the laptop during
the exercise.

Just my 2c


This message is hastily written, please ignore any unpleasant wordings,
do not consider it a binding commitment, even if its phrasing may
indicate so. Its contents may be deliberately or accidentally untrue.
Trademarks and other things belong to their owners, if any.

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