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Re: Suggestions of David Nusinow, was: RPSL and DFSG-compliance - choice of venue

Matthew Garrett <mjg59@srcf.ucam.org> writes:

> On Wed, 2004-08-25 at 15:25 -0400, Brian Thomas Sniffen wrote:
>> Sure we can.  I might convince you that they're in the wrong place --
>> and certainly debian-legal is the right place for that discussion.  Or
>> you might convince me that they are in the right place.  Neither of
>> those is an axiomatic belief.
> No, I don't think debian-legal /is/ the right place. Debian-legal is the
> place to discuss whether a license is free or not based on Debian's
> ideas of freeness, not whether Debian's ideas of freeness are correct.
> There may not be a more appropriate place at present. That doesn't make
> the use of debian-legal appropriate.

Do you actually have any authority to make that proclamation, or is it
just as much wishful thinking as my statement that this is an
appropriate place?

> You believe that there are some languages that are inherently
> non-free?

No, I believe some sourceless programs are inherently non-free.  If
they're not practically modifiable, then they can't be free software.

> I'm still waiting to hear an example of something that patch clauses
> actually make impossible.

Well, let's say I have a program written in some interpreted
language.  Now I can't distribute it in usable form.

Also, I can't combine two programs which each specify that their
source must be distributed pristinely, using only patches and diffs to
indicate modifications.  I could ship the two pristine source files,
but now I need to specify my program as some combinator function.
That's not practical.

The only thing I can practically do with such code is make
modifications that fit within its originally intended general purpose.
I certainly can't excerpt an interesting algorithm implementation and
use it elsewhere.


Brian Sniffen                                       bts@alum.mit.edu

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