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Re: GPL: for this list's review and pleasure

@ 13/05/2004 20:51 : wrote Henning Makholm :

Scripsit Humberto Massa <humberto.massa@almg.gov.br>
Massa's little trying-to-be-comprehensive study about the GPL.

Um, nothing personal, but this study/summary/whatever seems to be
really unreadable. Certainly the GPL itself is easier reading.
No offense taken :-)

Could you try to formulate your next version (if any) such that it
contains some grammatically complete sentences rather than just
isolated fragments of phrases?
This would be counterproducent. The objective of the study is: to mathematically and tersely define which rights a person who is a licensee of a GPL'd work has. If I use complete sentences, I will repeat time after time "the licensee have the right to [[do something]] provided he also [[does other something]] and/or [[...]]", and that would be a bigger pain. Maybe indenting? (see below) The secondary objective is to answer the "Can I do ... ?" type of questions, as the ones Raul was arguing in the other thread...

If this is trying to be a DFSG summary, then I cannot even find a
It's not a DFSG summary, because I think historically, the DFSG is a generalization on the GPL and the other considered-free licenses. This is, IMHO, any incompatibility between the DFSG and GPL v2 is a bug in the DFSG, not in the GPL. Thus, "the GPL v2 is a DFSG-free license" is a truism.

Anyway, thanks for reading and giving your opinion. Below is the indented version:

Massa's little trying-to-be-comprehensive study about the GPL.

© Humberto Massa 2004

This essay is hereby licensed to the reader,  granting  full  rights  of
modification and redistribution, provided every derived work of it does:
(1) maintain my copyright notice intact and positioned near to  the  top
of the text AND (2) mentions  the original  title AND (3) is distributed
under this same license.

The Thing
(indented version)

Rights granted from an author to an licensee when  the  former  licenses
under the GPL some work to the  latter  or  to  a  redistributing  third
party, who then passes it on to the licensee:

1. making verbatim copy  of  source  code  (#1,  caput,  "You  may..."),
     carrying along the copyright  notice,  disclaimer,  and  a copy
     of the license, ("provided...")
     not  imposing  any further restrictions on the recipients'
     excercise of the  rights  the license grants to him (#6, "You
     may not impose...")

2. distributing everything covered by [1] above  (#1,  caput,  "You  may
  copy and distribute...")

3. charging a fee  for  the  physical  copy  (#1,  paragraph,  "You  may

4. offering warranty protection for a fee ("you may at your option...")

5. modifying any portion of the work  THUS  making a derived work,  (#2,
  caput, "You may modify..."),
     causing  modified  files  to carry notices of changing (#2, 'a',
     "You must...")
        there is an interactive announcement with copyright notice
        and/or  disclaimer  in the original work
        your derived work MUST print the said announcement (#2, 'c',
        "If the modified...")

6. distributing any derived works covered by [5] above, (#2,  'b',  "You
  must cause any work..."),
     licensing your  modifications  to all third parties under the
     GPL ("to be licensed...")

7. licensing under any license you  want  parts  of  your  modifications
  covered  by  [5]  (and   [6])   above   (#2,   1st   paragraph,   "If
  identifiable..."), THOSE PARTS which can  be  "reasonably  considered
  independent and separate works  in  themselves",  i.e.,  not  derived
  works from the original work;
    distributing  such  parts separately ("But when you...")

8. aggregating in the same storage or  distribution  medium  non-derived
  works under other, unspecified,  licenses  (#2,  3rd  paragraph,  "In
  addition, mere aggregation...")

9. copying the original work in executable or  object  code  form,  (#3,
  caput, "You may copy..."),
     accompanying  it  with  the source (#3, 'a', "...it with the
     offering  to  send the source for a non-profit charge valid for
     3 years (#3, 'b', "...it with a written...")
        you received the work in executable/object code form
        are redistributing it non-commercially
        accompanying it with the information as to the referred offer
        you received (#3,  'c', "...it with the information...")
           the executable/object code is being distributed by
           accessing and copying from a determinated place
           is offered access to the source code from the  same  place
           (#3,  2nd paragraph, "If distribution...")

10. applying the terms of [9] to modified/derived works covered  by  [5]
   and [6] (#3, caput, "(or a work based on it, under section 2)")

11. disclaiming warranties on your derived works, as they are disclaimed
   in the text of the GPL.

  no  conditions  being  imposed  to  the licensee that contradicts
  the conditions of  the  GPL  (the  SUBJECT  TO clauses here and in
  [1] to [11] above)  or  that  excuses  some  of  the conditions
  (#7, caput, "If, as a consequence...")

Why is the rest of the GPL not in the study?

- #0 just describes what is the scope of the license, or to which  works
 it applies, and what actions it covers

- ## 1, 2, 3 are covered

- #4 talks about how the GPL terminates itself

- #5 explains why and in which circunstances the licensee  is  accepting
 the terms of the license

- #6 is covered; the license transfer clause is indicated in the heading
 of the study items; the "no more restrictions" clause is here  AND  IT
 works such licensed are undistributable by  anyone  but  the  original
 copyright holder

- #7, caput, is covered

- #7, 1st paragraph is a "balance of section clause"

- #7, 2nd paragraph and 3rd paragraph are explanations

- #8 gives the original work copyright holder the ability  to  add  ONLY
 ONE TYPE OF RESTRICTION in combination with the  GPL:  the  geographic
 restriction,  SUBJECT  BY  there  is  already  a  restriction  on  the
 distribution of the work for the part  of  the  restricted  countries.
 Notice that combining additional restrictions with the GPL  renders  a
 work undistributable by anyone but the copyright holder

- #9 and paragraphs say you can license your  work  "GPL  version  X  or

- #10 explain how to proceed to combine different-licensed works

- ## 11 and 12 are the warranty disclaimer

Quick algorithmic approach to reading the GPL and this study:

bool can_i_do(something) {
 if( copyright_law_grants_me_the_right_of(something) )
   return true;
 if( is_in_rights_granted_from_1_to_11_above(something) &&
   the_SUBJECT_TO_clauses_are_satisfied_by(something) )
     return true;
 return false;

2004.May.12 @ Brasil, MG, Belo Horizonte


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