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Re: d-fsl - German Free Software License

> In September, I was approached by an important research institute in
> Germany about a new software license, d-fsl. [...]

What "special requirements of German and European law" motivate this
licence? Previously some EU-funded groups have used minimal edits to
the customary free software licences. I didn't notice anything in the
licence explicitly about moral or authorship rights.

> Conventionally licensed computer programs are 
> distributed in object code form only, and the 

This is only true of recent times, as I understand it. Most software
used to come with sources. Question is, what is convention?

> user is not entitled to modify or pass on the 
> program to third parties. The license model for 
> Free Software (synonym "Open Source Software"), 

Ow! Does the licence author know what they're writing?

> Section 0 Definitions

Some of these are non-obvious definitions, including Documentation,
Object Code, Making Publicly Available and Entitled Persons.

I don't understand why it's written in USian rather than English.

The licence terms appear to be cumulative rather than selective, which
seems unusual to me and I'm not sure what interactions will exist.

A couple of small lawyerbombs like conspicuous and "easy to perceive"
but they might be well-known terms in German law. The big one is
"customary data carrier".

> (3) You may not make the use of the Program 
> contingent upon the compliance with conditions or 
> obligations that are not set forth in this 
> License. 

Isn't use (as in execution) outside the scope of the licence because of
changes to EU copyright law regarding transient copies of programs?
The licence references that later on, too.

> (4) Provided that you have received Documentation 
> for the Program, you have to deliver this 
> Documentation with the Program, as well, unless 
> free delivery of the Documentation is not 
> permitted by the documentation license.

Wheeeee... yes, what happens here? FDL is not free as in free software,
so I guess that's not free delivery.

> Section 5 Conclusion of the Contract

Ow, this licence wants to be a contract. Never a happy sign.

> Section 8 Agreements with Third Parties
> (3) ... However, you may not prevent or 
> complicate further use by third parties through 
> the use of technical protective measures, in 
> particular, the use of copy protection of any 
> kind. Password-protected access restriction or 
> use in an Intranet shall not be regarded as 
> technical protective measures.

This is messy like the FDL anti-DRM stuff. Why not just require that an
unobstructed copy must accompany obstructed copies?

MJR/slef   My Opinion Only

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