[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: DFSG#10 [was: Re: Draft Debian-legal summary of the LGPL]

On Fri, May 21, 2004 at 11:36:17PM +0100, Lewis Jardine wrote:

> 4 may be non-free: as RMS understands it, violating the GPL for a given 
> work terminates any rights you have to it, now and in the future, even 
> those which would otherwise be granted by having another copy of the 
> work distributed to you. This may (/may/) violate DFSG #9 (if you were 
> to violate the GPL in one work, you then couldn't distribute the same 
> code in a different work), or may (/may/) violate the spirit of the DFSG.

I don't think this violates the spirit of the DFSG; Free Software *is*
about balancing the rights of authors with the rights of users, and it's
important to protect authors from this particular loophole.  In any
case, the argument we've seen in practice that gets around this is that
a violator need not have accepted the terms of the GPL before
distributing, so their distribution is "merely" copyright infringement
and not a violation that terminates their license.

> 8 bears a lot of resemblance to "don't break the law" clauses, which 
> used to be considered DFSG free, but which now are increasingly not. 

By *whom*?  I haven't seen anyone offer a solid argument that "don't
break the law" clauses are acceptable, I don't believe there's consensus
on d-legal that they should be acceptable, and I haven't seen any cases
of them actually being accepted into main.  Please provide references to
relevant mailing list discussions if I've overlooked them.

> This option, if exercised, may be counter to DFSG #5, or possibly DFSG 
> #1, and may possibly fail the 'dissident test'.

I think you're probably right that this option, if exercised, would be
non-free.  However, I have never seen anyone exercise this particular
option -- I had even forgotten it was there.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

Attachment: signature.asc
Description: Digital signature

Reply to: