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Re: DRAFT: debian-legal summary of the QPL

Matthew Garrett <mgarrett@chiark.greenend.org.uk> writes:

> Josh Triplett <josh.trip@verizon.net> wrote:
>>Matthew Garrett wrote:
>>> Since it would be relatively trivial to modify the script to read those
>>> in from external files, that's an awkwardness rather than a problem.
>>You should not need a technical workaround for a legal problem.
> We accept this as free for patch clauses.

Notice those have a special exception in the DFSG -- such impositions
are non-free in general, but as a particular exception, patch clauses
are Debian-Free.

> There's a strong feeling that people should be allowed to do what they
> want if it doesn't involve other people. Private undistributed
> modification falls within this. Distribution, on the other hand,
> is something that is of interest to the original developer. When
> multiple people are involved, there's a belief that they should both
> consent to what's going on.

Distribution is no more of interest to the original developer than
modification.  If I'm distributing to you, what business of the
developer's is it?  Well, he has interest in free software, so he can
require that I can give you only free software which derives from his

But it doesn't serve Free Software for him to require that I send
*him* a copy too, especially when his interest is in putting out a
proprietary version!  So a Free license isn't going to involve the
original author sticking his nose into my private distribution any
more than it involves him interfering with my private modifications --
that is, to the extent useful for preserving the freeness of the work.


Brian Sniffen                                       bts@alum.mit.edu

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