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Re: The draft Position statement on the GFDL

Scripsit Nathanael Nerode <neroden@twcny.rr.com>

> We have allowed clauses of the fairly narrow form "You must not do
> thing X with this work if it is illegal to do so in your jurisdiction"
> before, though I don't care for such stupid clauses.

If we have, we shouldn't have. Such clauses fail the dissident test.

Imagine that the work in question is an encryption tool, and that
<Insert Your Favorite Evil Oppressive State> has a local law
forbidding the possession and distribution of cryptographic
programs. Our friend the dissident nevertheless distributes the
program and afterwards miraculously escapes to the free world.

If the license for the work has a "you-must-follow-local-law" clause
the dissident will now risk being sued by the author for breach of
license terms.

Free software must be free for dissidents too.

(Or instead of the encryption, it could be *any* piece of software,
and <IYFEOS> could have a local law against women engaging in software
distribution, or against distribution of any software not specifically
allowed by government censors).

Henning Makholm                                  "The bread says TOAAAAAST."

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