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Re: A radical approach to rewriting the DFSG

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

> I actually don't think the GPL Preamble is entirely legally irrelevant; it
> would presumably color the legal interpretation of the GPL if a question of
> interpretation came up.

Hm, what about "a non-legal piece of text", then?

> Typo, should be "derivatives", not "derivates".  But it would be better to
> rewrite the sentence.

Well, yes. It now reads: "Several popular license texts explicitly
forbid the creation of works derived from the license text itself."

> Also, it should be made clear that this exception does not apply to license
> texts shipped on their own, rather than as the licenses for something.

I understand what you're saying, but when I attempt to explain it such
that it is clear for an uninitiated reader what the problem is, it
gets very convoluted. Can't we just hope that an attempt to ITP a
license text as a work in its own right will get rejected as pointless
by the ftpmasters, such that this does not become a DFSG matter in the
first place?

> Also, it's not just license texts which get a special break; other legal
> recitations, sich as warranty disclaimers, are also allowed to be
> non-modifiable.

Hm, most warranty disclaimers that would otherwise need this are not
sufficiently original that copyright *can* prevent them from being
reused, are they?

Well, I think I'll just define the disclaimer as being part of the
license text. That should solve it.

> Add clarification:
> (The license can specify that exercising the rights granted by the license,
> absent alternative permissions, will be interpreted as acceptance of the
> license.)

Added, with minor editing.

> Clarifications here about the exact meaning of 'venue' vs. 'law', etc, so
> that the usual confusions don't pop up?

Clarification added.

> And a non-nitpick.
> I would be quite comfortable allowing patent "retaliation" restrictions, but
> only if they were very carefully tailored.  Specifically, license rights
> must terminate only if the work is alleged to constitute patent
> infringement (no action based on unrelated causes), and they must terminate
> only for the person who alleged that it did (no harming third parties).

The trouble with patents - in this context - is that we don't really
have any solid consensus to be codified.

I'm fairly certain, however, that the *current* consensus is that a
free license cannot retailiate against patent attacks by revoking
*copyright* licenses. I'm not quite energetic enough tonight to try to
track down list referneces, but can anyone remember a case where this
was *not* the conclusion?

> Well, these were just some thoughts.  Have fun with them.


Henning Makholm          "Also, the letters are printed. That makes the task
                        of identifying the handwriting much more difficult."

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