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Re: Draft Summary: MPL is not DFSG free

Brian Thomas Sniffen <bts@alum.mit.edu> wrote:
> > Second, while acceptance alone does not obligate anything of you, some
> > obligations do kick in if you try to use some of the rights you have
> > been granted.  For example, if you take the option to distribute
> > binaries of modifications and then post the source code separately, then
> > you are *obliged* from then onwards to keep the source code available to
> > whoever has received the binary distribution.
> Not by the GPL, you're not.  You *are* obliged to  do so by the offer,
> valid for three years, which you issued.  But not by the GPL.

Yes, but that is a nitpick IMHO.  What good is an offer that you never
plan to use?  If you prefer, call the relevent clause of GPL to be an
offer of a contract, instead of being a contract itself.  It doesn't
seem to change the essence of the debate.

> >  This is a restriction on
> > your behavior, and that restriction has arisen because you agreed to the
> > terms of the GPL.  You have gained the right to distribute binary-only
> > copies, but in compensation you have agreed to post the source code
> > somewhere.
> Your last sentence is not found in the GPL, nor is anything like it.

This is uncalled for.  You know that I am talking about Clause 3b
because you referred to it above.

> In any case, even stipulating that this is a non-free path doesn't
> validate your argument, since non-free paths through a license don't
> reduce the freedom of the free paths.

Right, but I was just objecting to saying that a license agreement is
different from a contract.  I agree that a license is different from a
license agreement, but what we are usually talking about on debian-legal
are the agreements, not the licenses granted in those agreements.

In general, license agreements are really the same thing as contracts,
even though in practice there is a big issue in determining whether both
parties have really agreed.  GPL not only flat out states that you must
agree to it before you can use it, but it includes paths that incur
obligations on the receiver (posting source) even after they have
stopped using the granted right (distributing binaries).

MJ Ray <mjr@dsl.pipex.com> wrote:
> Does anything in this debate change whether MPL can be used for works 
> in debian? If not, please change the subject.

It is relevant, though the implications go beyond MPL.  At least one
person has suggested that "contract implies non-free" and then argued
that MPL is a contract and thus non-free.


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