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Re: Summary : ocaml, QPL and the DFSG.



On Tue, Jul 20, 2004 at 07:44:58PM -0400, Michael Poole wrote:
> Matthew Palmer writes:
> 
> > Having slept on it, I've decided that in the specific case of the QPL, this
> > particular situation is not a problem for Debian, but ONLY because we can
> > avoid the whole issue by making the items in question available to the general public (which we do). 
> 
> The QPL doesn't release you from the obligation to provide changes to
> the author if you have since stopped distributing the software (for
> whatever reason).  That clause applies to *any* time at which the code
> is not available to the general public.  It would be plausible for an
> SCO or Microsoft to demand that a Debian package maintainer provide a
> three-year-old version of a package because Debian users downloaded
> that modified version.

An excellent point, and well made.  Thankyou for reminding me of this.

My objection to this clause is re-established.

> [snip]
> > We're taking a similar path with the GPL, anyway -- the non-freeness of 3b
> > and 3c is OK because we're distributing under 3a.  By analogy, the
> > non-freeness of compelled unrelated distribution of linked items is OK(ish)
> > because we're taking the "publically available" route.
> 
> The GPL is qualitatively different because it bounds the time during
> which you must act to comply with the license: Either immediately, if
> you make the source code available at time of transfer, or for the
> next three years, if you only make the binary code available.  The QPL
> obligations do not terminate.

Ayup.  I had these vague feelings that the GPL and QPL situations weren't
entirely comparable; I think the timeframe issue was what it was (either
that or the Quesadilla I had last night <grin>).

> It may also be qualitatively different because the upstream author
> gets a symmetric license and cannot compel downstream modifiers to
> provide changes; but that is a different discussion.

I think you meant asymmetric, but yes, that is a different discussion.  I
tried to ensure that it was understood that my change in reasoning was only
related to 6c; I still think that the asymmetric licence problem, as well as
the choice of venue, are problematic.  And, with your excellent reminder, I
now think 6c is a problem again too.

- Matt



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