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Re: DFSG#10 and the Open Source Initiative

@ 26/05/2004 18:10 : wrote Glenn Maynard :

> On Wed, May 26, 2004 at 04:42:48PM -0300, Humberto Massa wrote:
>> none that I can think of right now, what is to say I think you
>> have at least /some/ good arguments. One doubt: is your reading
>> of the DFSG thefollowing (seems stricter than mine)?
>> 1. the license should not forbid and modifications, with two
>> groups of exceptions: it can forbid / must forbid / it's
>> forbidden anyway the "primary" ones (I am lacking a better term
>> -- meaning copyright notices, license texts, the GPL invariant
>> preamble, is there another one?) and it can optionally forbid the
>> "secondary" ones: GPL#2a and GPL#2c; if you can't distribute
>> modified sources, it's imperative that you can distribute the
>> original tarball+patches and the patched binaries; *OR*
> I tend to read it as "can not restrict modification at all, except
> for legally-required notices (copyright notices, licenses,
> disclaimers) and those things explicitly listed in DFSG#4". I read
> DFSG#10 as "the following licenses are accepted, even if they
> don't meet DFSG#3"; that is, a grandfathering clause.

Yes, I can see. I don't agree, tough.

One more question: is this (below) non-free?

>>>>>> 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.

It strikes me as a free, strong-copyleft, GPL-incompatible license.
But it fails miserably your reading of the DFSG in two accounts:

1. it restricts the *positioning* of the copyright license; AND

2. you can't erase _every_ _single_ instance of the original title;
you can erase N-1 instance of the original title, but not all of

This is an example of a simple, existing and no-nonsense license,
that shows that your stricter interpretation of the DFSG leads to
segregating what (IMVHO) is free software [1] as being non-free.

This is (at least partially) the logic that makes me conclude that
DFSG#10 should not be a grandfathering clause: it would lead to a
stricter interpretation of the DFSG, rendering simple free stuff

This, in turn, makes me reach my original conclusion about the
reading of the DFSG#10 (== "read the DFSG in a way that renders
those free"), by excluding the other interpretation.

And, all of this without excluding: if DFSG#10 is a grandfathering
clause, does it reach GPL#8, too? In other words, can a
GPL#8-restricted work be in main? Or even in non-free? I think this
alone grants the need for a clarification of the DFSG #10.

[1] insert 1000-post-long flamewar about the meaning of the word
software without coming to any conclusion here. :-)


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