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Re: Need to Identify Contributions and the Dissident Test

On Thu, Jan 20, 2005 at 05:09:03PM -0800, Don Armstrong wrote:
> On Thu, 20 Jan 2005, Henning Makholm wrote:
> > Scripsit Don Armstrong <don@debian.org>
> > >   Permission to distribute binaries produced by compiling modified
> > >   sources is granted, provided you
> > >    1. distribute the corresponding source modifications from the
> > >       released version in the form of a patch file along with the binaries,
> > >    2. add special version identification to distinguish your version
> > >       in addition to the base release version number,
> > >    3. provide your name and address as the primary contact for the
> > >       support of your modified version, and
> > >    4. retain our contact information in regard to use of the base
> > >       software.
> > 
> > 
> > (3) seems to fail the Dissident test.
> This particular extension of the dissident test has always bothered
> me, which is one reason why I've never applied it in my own arguments
> of why a license is Free or not free.

As others have pointed out, Dissident vs. Desert Island are somewhat
different tests. However, I guess it really depends on what information is
required by #3, in the intent of the author.

If I can write in "Joe Q <nobody@example.tld>, Erehwon Station, LEO, Terra,
Sol, <....>" or something similarly non-incriminating, then it passes
Dissident (I still think it's stupid, but you'd already have to make up
a nom-de-code (?) for the copyright notice, and we allow that, adding a
useless address isn't any more onerous a requirement.

If, on the other hand, it seeks to establish a valid and useful contact
address (as appears, on the face of it, to be the intent, since it says
'for support', and an address which cannot be used for obtaining support is
useless for that), I have to think it it fails the Dissident test fairly

A lot of things I may not agree with the FSF about, but "freedom from
having to divulge information about possessing a copy" or however it
is actually worded seems extremely valuble to my sometimes anarchic
sensibilities. If I'd rather have anonymity than credit, nothing should
stop me from publishing my changes for the good of all free software.
Joel Aelwyn <fenton@debian.org>                                       ,''`.
                                                                     : :' :
                                                                     `. `'

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