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Re: DRAFT: debian-legal summary of the QPL

On Wed, 21 Jul 2004, Steve McIntyre wrote:
> What part of
>   5. No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups
>      The license must not discriminate against any person or group of
>      persons.
> allows for _any_ discrimination?

None of it, apparently, which is one of the reasons why the DFSG is a
set of guidelines, not a mere definition.

> "Must not discriminate" seems pretty clear to me. If you're going to
> argue for "effective discrimination" then you've just argued
> yourself out of free software altogether.

Not necessarily, because the DFSG specifically allows licences like
the GPL. Therefore, we can use those licenses to establish where the
lines of these particular clauses are. Presumably the line for this
clause is where the good to the free software community outweighs the
discrimination inherent in any license that gives rights in exchange
for requiring something from those modifying or distributing
modifications. Others may feel that the line is somewhere else.

> Are you reading the same DFSG as me??? "Must not discriminate" is
> not in any sense vague - it does not leave any leeway for "allowable
> discrimination".

Well, then why should effective discrimination be allowed? Surely
effective discrimination fits under "must not discriminate."

In the end, we still come back to the fact that we're dealing with a
set of guidelines that needs to be thoughtfully applied to a
license. For many of these cases, there's no known bright line test,
where X is free, and Y is non free. [See the OSD v DFSG threads for
more examples...]

As always, if anyone can codify such a bright line test, please, do
so. It only makes discussing software freedom easier.

Don Armstrong

Unix, MS-DOS, and Windows NT (also known as the Good, the Bad, and
the Ugly).
 -- Matt Welsh


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