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

On Tue, May 25, 2004 at 12:03:18AM -0500, Branden Robinson wrote:
> I don't think requiring a verbatim statement is "supporting
> documentation" is any less obnoxious than requiring a verbatim statement
> in "advertising materials".
> Both could be wholly independently copyright works, and it is an
> unreasonable arrogation of power over the work of others to attempt to
> control their speech in this fashion.
> Any license that attempts to so is fatally defective from a DFSG
> standpoint.

This argument seems to apply to the X11/MIT license:

"... copyright notice(s) and this permission notice appear in all copies of
the Software and that both the above copyright notice(s) and this
permission notice appear in supporting documentation."

which requires that a verbatim statement ("this permission notice") be
placed in supporting documentation.

This just seems like another case where normally free licenses can be
interpreted in non-free ways: if "supporting documentation" is read as
"in all documentation, even those you didn't write and don't distribute",
it's not free.  (I've never heard of anyone doing that; I've always read
it as "in the README, CREDITS or COPYING file".)

Glenn Maynard

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