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Re: Draft summary of Creative Commons 2.0 licenses (version 3)

On Sun, Mar 27, 2005 at 12:50:15PM -0500, Benj. Mako Hill wrote:
> > My wife says about debian-legal, "It sounds like you are the white
> > hat hackers of Free Software licenses. You find the security holes
> > in the licenses before the bad guys do." I thought that this was a
> > pretty good analogy. People get real mad at white hats, too. It's
> > not nice to be told that your software has a bug, nor that your
> > license does, but it's a necessary function.
> Absolutely. As I said to Andrew, I think it also helps to remember
> that this isn't the same as source code and the the nature of bugs is
> somewhat different. It's, for lack of a better word,
> fuzzier. Contracts are interpreted by people and, ultimately, by
> people who are judges and things like reasonable expectations, intent,
> and good/bad faith that don't make sense in the source code metaphor
> are central aspects in law and licensing. I think we are sometimes
> guilty of giving these less weight than we should.

We *can't* give serious consideration to that sort of thing. It is
precisely because these issues are fuzzy that we can't afford to. As
soon as you start saying "This might be non-free, but it's okay, you
might be able to get out of it anyway" then what you're also saying is
"You are going to have to go to court if you want to exercise the
things enumerated in the DFSG, and you might lose".

It's not free if you have to fight a court battle to do it. Those
things cost a fortune.

This is particularly true because the license can invariably be easily
rewritten to eliminate the fuzziness. I cannot imagine any scenario
where a license would have to depend on such matters in order to be
DFSG-free. We aren't asking for anything particularly complex here.

  .''`.  ** Debian GNU/Linux ** | Andrew Suffield
 : :' :  http://www.debian.org/ |
 `. `'                          |
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