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Re: DFSG#10 and the Open Source Initiative

On Wed, May 26, 2004 at 09:10:40PM -0400, Raul Miller wrote:
> On Wed, May 26, 2004 at 04:36:42PM -0400, Glenn Maynard wrote:
> > Patches and renames are explicitly allowed by DFSG#4.  I already mentioned
> > warranty disclaimers.  "Must supply source" and "can't add further restrictions"
> > are restrictions on distribution, not modification; they don't affect
> > what modifications you can make.
> "Must supply source" is a restriction on the modifications you can
> distribute, which is basically the same thing.

"Must supply source" is allowed under DFSG#3, which says "under the same
terms as the license of the original software".  Under the GPL, the original
requires that source accompany binaries, and the license allows you to
make modifications under those same terms--modifications must also include

I think I've already made exactly this argument.  (That's why I initially
only replied to Humberto's response: we've already had these arguments, and
we're both repeating ourselves, and we're not convincing each other of much,
so I was hoping someone else might be able to provide a different outlook.)

> You can't distribute binaries that you can't supply sources for.
> For example, if the binaries were editted (manually, with a virus, or

This is the "what is the 'preferred form for modification'" debate.  That
debate has been repeated many times, most recently on d-devel as part of
the storm following the SC change.  I think that if we get into that, we'll
end up tangenting into another repeated 40-post-long debate; and since that
debate has been done many times already, we're not likely to cover any new

Another example of this problem is DFSG#2: "The program must include
source code"--what is "source code" for a program that has been modified
manually or by a virus?

I think this is an extreme corner case, anyway; I can't remember it ever
coming up here in practice--that is, somebody wanting to package a binary
compiled from GPL sources and hand-edited.

> -- for the "can't add further restrictions" restriction -- simply by
> incorporating code which was provided under a conflicting license).

This is also a debate we've had already; we disagree on this.

Glenn Maynard

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