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Re: why is graphviz package non-free?

On Fri, Jan 14, 2005 at 01:05:27AM -0800, Josh Triplett wrote:
> Brian Thomas Sniffen wrote:
> > I don't know what was meant, but I know what it should mean: imagine a
> > work under a copyleft-like license, which insisted that all
> > modifications and derived works had to be distributed under BSD-like
> > licenses.  It's sort of a copywrong, since the original author can
> > collect all the modifications and sell proprietary licenses to them.
> > 
> > Should this be considered free?  I can't see it as free.  It's very
> > clear that recipients are being charged for the ability to modify the
> > software.  They aren't on a plane with the original author.  This is a
> > root problem similar to that of the FSF's shenanigans with GFDL and
> > GPL'd text, and the reason I object to their use of the GFDL: when
> > only a copyright holder can do some things, that's non-Free.
> If I interpret what you said literally, then *nobody* has the right to
> take the code proprietary, because it must stay copyleftBSD-licensed.

No, that's not it.

A work (say, GlennEmacs) is placed under a license that says "include source
with all distribution {other GPL-ish don't-take-my-stuff-proprietary
requirements}.  Any modifications must be placed under the BSD license."

This means that I--the copyright holder of GlennEmacs--can release
proprietarily my work with your modifications attached, since your
modifications are under the permissive BSD license, and I can do whatever
I want with my own code.  You can't, since the only access *you* have to
*my* part of the work is under a copyleft.

> * If this "copyleftBSD" license permitted distribution under either the
> same license or under a non-redistributable proprietary license (with
> various definitions for "proprietary").  In this case, there are no
> actions which may only be performed by the original copyright holder;
> *everyone* could take the code proprietary.  This license seems
> obnoxious, but not non-free.

There's no "copyleftBSD" happening here.  There are two separate sets of
permissions: the permissions I grant the world to my work, and the permissions
I require that you grant the world for your modifications.  Your modifications
aren't under a copyleft.

Glenn Maynard

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