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Re: Audacity and portaudio

Brian Thomas Sniffen wrote:
> > > If the clause in question is just a request, why do the upstream
> > > maintainers need the permission of all contributors to move it
> > > aside?
> >
> > Because the license otherwise requires that "this permission notice"
> > (which includes the request in question) must be included verbatim
> > in all copies of the software.
> Then the request is part of the permission notice, and permission to
> distribute the software is contingent on distribution of the author's
> views irrespective of the software.  If this were a sentence about
> political or religious issues, it would be clearly non-free.

Software under the GNU GPL cannot be distributed without a verbatim copy
of that license, which includes (among other things) a lengthy preamble
that begins, "The licenses for most software are designed to take away
your freedom to share and change it."

Why would we be willing to require users to pass on that sentence, but
not a similarly non-binding statement in the PortAudio license?

What freedom is impaired by the presence of this sentence in the
PortAudio license that is not impaired by its other sentences, or the
GPL's preamble, or the many miscellaneous sentences that must be
distributed verbatim under various other licenses we consider free?

Other licenses that require distributors to pass on non-binding requests
and recommendations in their permission notices include the W3C Software
License [1] and the Eiffel Forum License v2 [2].  Both are considered
free by Debian and the FSF.  Do you disagree?  Why or why not?

 1. http://www.w3.org/Consortium/Legal/2002/copyright-software-20021231
 2. http://www.eiffel-nice.org/license/eiffel-forum-license-2.html

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