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Re: The draft Position statement on the GFDL

On Sun, May 02, 2004 at 03:31:49PM -0700, Don Armstrong wrote:
> Not all jurisdictions have a concept of fair use, so licenses which
> rely upon such a concept generally are not free.

Ah, this is key.

I'm need to understand how it's possible to have copyright on computer
programs in such a jurisdiction -- any copyright which restricts
unauthorized copying, such as almost any commercial program, would seem
to be unusable in that kind of jurisdiction.

Can you point me at some jurisdiction where such copying is disallowed?

> > It seems to me that it's DFSG §4 which deals with the "unmodifiable
> > sections" issue.  DFSG §3 simply requires that derived works be
> > redistributable and doesn't address any restrictions on the right to
> > redistribute derived copies (such as GNU's restriction where people
> > who don't distribute their own modificates to GPLed software under
> > GPL compatible terms lose the right to distribute derived works).
> You can construct arguments for them both applying. I tend to consider
> DFSG §4 as a specific exception to §3, so I rarely apply it unless it
> applies directly.


There seem to be two ways of reading §3:

     The license must allow modifications and derived works, and must
     allow them to be distributed under the same terms as the license
     of the original software.

In one reading, the license must allow all modifications and derived
works to be distributed, and §4 is an exception.

In another reading, the license must allow some modifications and derived
works to be distributed, and §4 is an additional constraint.

This is an interesting ambiguity.

> 1: Some might argue that the GPL is explicitely grandfathered in by
> §10, but I prefer to test it against the other 9 points of the DFSG
> and use it as an internal consistency check of arguments that we make.

I prefer the same class of interpretation of §10 as you.



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