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Re: The draft Position statement on the GFDL

On Sun, May 02, 2004 at 07:01:10PM -0400, Raul Miller wrote:
> > > 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).

More generally, any license that says "if you violate this license, this
license is terminated".

(Any a nitpick: you probably meant "where people who distribute their
modifications of GPLed software, but don't do so under GPL-compatible
terms".  It's fine to not distribute your own modifications at all.)

> 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.

I don't think this is a useful interpretation.  "The only modification
which may be distributed is changes in indentation" would pass, or even
"the only modification allowed is the null modification".

The former is a much more useful interpretation of the guideline.  (Of
course, it's still a guideline; licenses which forbid the modification
of removing the author's name are allowed, for example.)

Glenn Maynard

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