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Re: NEW ocaml licence proposal by upstream, will be part of the 3.08.1 release going into sarge.

On Wed, Aug 18, 2004 at 09:29:24PM -0700, Josh Triplett wrote:
> Brian Thomas Sniffen wrote:
> > Josh Triplett <josh.trip@verizon.net> writes:
> >>Consider for a moment a license that said something like "You must
> >>either distribute under this license with source, or under a proprietary
> >>license without source.", (where the license is otherwise
> >>BSD/MIT/X11-like, and with a definition for "proprietary" given
> >>somewhere in the license).  This would be a form of "copyleft", that
> >>requires derived works to maintain the "right" for _everyone_ to make
> >>proprietary derived works.  I think such a license would still be Free,
> >>albeit annoying.  For someone who only cares about Free Software, the
> >>additional permission is useless, and only serves to allow others to
> >>take the work proprietary.
> >>
> >>Now consider a similar license with one change: only the original
> >>developer may release under a proprietary license.  Such a change
> >>reduces the number of people who can take the software proprietary.  It
> >>seems like if the case above is a Free license, then this one would be
> >>as well, and would actually be preferable.
> > 
> > This is not Free.  It gives these grants:
> > 
> > 1) Distribute with source, passing this license along.
> > 
> > 2) or, if you're Bob, under a proprietary license without source.
> > 
> > Now I have only one grant of permission.  I have to pass along 2, but
> > I don't get to take advantage of it at all.
> I don't see how this makes it non-free.  You are distributing under the
> same license you received the software under, so DFSG 3 is satisfied,
> and you are not being discriminated against, since everyone has a Free
> license, so DFSG 6 and 7 are satisfied.  (Note that saying everyone
> doesn't have a Free license because of discrimination would be begging
> the question, so you still need a non-DFSG6/7 justification for
> non-freeness before you can argue DFSG6/7 on this basis).  Is there some

DFSG #5.  Discrimination against a person or groups of persons.  In this
case, the group that contains !(initial developer).  A common definition of
discrimination in the sense of exclusion is that exclusion is discrimination
when it makes the distinction based on an intrinsic quality, rather than
based on a choice.  To take a kroogerism, if we exclude because someone is a
White Christian Male, that's discrimination, but if we exclude that same
person because they're being an idiot, that's OK.

In the QPL's case, the licence discriminates against a large class of people
because they are not the initial developer, an intrinsic characteristic
which the persons that are part of that group can do nothing to change.  The
GPL, in contrast, does not *discriminate*, because it does not grant or
revoke based on intrinsic characteristics, but rather by the choices that
individual licensees may make.

- Matt

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