Re: DRAFT: debian-legal summary of the QPL
Matthew Garrett <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
> On Thu, Jul 15, 2004 at 09:42:49AM -0400, Brian Thomas Sniffen wrote:
>> Matthew Garrett <email@example.com> writes:
>> > Right, which indicates that we have nothing in principle against minor
>> > technical awkwardnesses. If DFSG 4 didn't explicitly allow patch
>> > clauses, somebody might read it as forbidding them. On the other hand,
>> > their awkwardness is recognised - we encourage people not to use
>> > licenses that require this sort of workaround.
>> On the contrary, we do have something in principle against technical
>> awkwardness -- but compromised those principles to accept patch
> Why did we do that?
That's complicated. My impression is that it was in the hope of djb
compromising and freeing QMail, but that didn't happen.
>> > Of course distribution is of interest to the original developer. The
>> > original recipient (who I provided the software to) is making a copy of
>> > something that I put effort into without necessarily giving me anything
>> > in return.
>> And if he has a Free license, then he can do that without the initial
>> developer's interference.
> Your arguments are distressingly circular. You asked me why private
> modification could be held to different standards when compared to
> distributed modification. I told you.
You asserted that they were different. How is modification less of
interest to the initial developer than distributed modification? I
can replace "making a copy" with "changing a copy" in your text above
and it makes just as much sense.
> One is outside the developer's field of interest. One
> isn't. Replying to that by saying "But a free license means that it
> isn't of interest to the original developer" doesn't actually say
> anything useful.
Sure it does. It says that the initial author's copyright gives him
control of modification and distribution. A free license sacrifices
much of that control. In particular, it is Free because it allows
others to do what the developer could, and without further permission
from the developer.
>> > In what way does it serve free software to allow people to hoard
>> > modifications rather than allow the community to take advantage of them?
>> Perhaps you weren't paying attention: a restriction on the ways in
>> which a recipient may manipulate a work is Free iff it advances free
>> software. The converse is not true -- that is, it is not necessary to
>> show that Free Software is served by either decision, just those that
>> on their face restrict freedom. If we adopt the rule you suggest,
>> we'd never me able to make any decisions but very very clear ones.
> Being forced to provide your modifications to everyone advances free
> software. How could it not do? It means that more free software is
That kind of generality is suspicious. Whose freedom is advanced?
What disincentives to development are provided? With the GPL, I can
point at the recipient and say that he has a guarantee of Freedom with
respect to that software. With a general publication requirement,
whose freedom is increased?
>> In any case, allowing people to decide with whom they associate is a
>> central component of freedom. A license that compels me to interact
>> with the initial author is, thus, non-free.
> You're arguing by assertion again.
You're just saying that.
Brian Sniffen firstname.lastname@example.org