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Re: DRAFT: debian-legal summary of the QPL

On Tue, Jul 13, 2004 at 11:32:01AM +0100, Matthew Garrett wrote:
> I have a certain amount of frustration at the fact that people
> continually assert that the freedom of someone on a desert island to be
> able to distribute the software is a fundamental one that must be

Then don't argue that debian-legal doesn't represent Debian; argue
against the desert island test *on* debian-legal.

> protected. In the past, we have compromised in order to be able to
> distribute software that we thought was "free enough" - DFSG 4 is a good
> example of this. Those active on debian-legal appear less willing to

DFSG#4's patch exception is a horrible bug.  Code reuse and the ability
to fork projects are fundamental cores of free software.  Patch clauses
almost entirely prevent both--usually deliberately; at least one recent
user of the QPL explicitly does not want to use the GPL because he wants
to prohibit forking.  The fact that Debian calls them "free" is embarrassing.
Hopefully some day it can be fixed.

> Did you mean 9A(b)? "Any requirement for sending source modifications to
> anyone other than the recipient of the modified binary---in fact any
> forced distribution at all, beyond giving source to those who receive a
> copy of the binary---would put the dissident in danger." The very fact
> that he's a dissident puts him in danger, and the hostile government can
> declare that the source must be provided regardless of what the license
> says. I still can't imagine a practical situation where this would be an
> issue. If the dissident is likely to be put in danger then he is already
> doing something worse than breaching copyright law.

It represents the right to make private modifications.  I should be able to
change a program, send it to a friend, and agree with him not to further
distribute it, without being forced to send it to a third party.

Glenn Maynard

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