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Re: Creative Commons license summary (version 4)

On Mon, 04 Apr 2005 08:44:08 -0700 Josh Triplett wrote:

> Francesco Poli wrote:
> > * "the acceptability of software and other content"
> >
> > Content? Which "other content" does Debian distribute besides
> > software? If, by "software", you mean non-hardware (as it seems from
> > the rest of the document), Debian only distributes software and "and
> > other content" could be misleading, I would say...
> I agree with you that this statement is potentially redundant if one
> uses the "non-hardware" definition of software.  However, given that
> Creative Commons intentionally targets non-programs, and given that
> not everyone uses "software" to mean "any set of bits", I think it is
> preferable to use the potentially-redundant "software and other
> content" rather than the potentially-too-narrow "software".  I believe
> the latter has more potential for confusion than the former.

That may be right, Josh, but, if you want to go this route, many other
parts of the summary should be fixed.
Actually, if CC folk read "software" as "programs and only programs",
they will look at

| This includes comparing software against the DFSG to determine if the
| packages are Free Software.

and say "OK, you compare /software/ against the DFSG, but our licenses
are not intended for software, thus the DFSG are irrelevant".
Then they will read

| From time to time the debian-legal list provides a review of a
| well-known software license to express a rough consensus opinion on
| whether software released solely under the license would be Free
| Software.

and assert "OK, you review /software/ licenses, but ours are not".
There are other sections that use the term "software" in its widest
meaning, IIRC.
At the end of the conversation they will have dismissed the whole
document as unrelated to their licenses...

Moreover, if you really want to dodge the "what is software?" issue, you
should entirely avoid to use the term "software".
Better say "programs" when you mean programs, "works" when you mean
programs and non-programs, and so forth.

This would allow us to stay away from linguistic discussions (as long as
CC folk do not think about the 'S' in DFSG...).

The other possibility is to explain what we mean by "software" (without
trying to persuade them to adopt the same terminology): this is what I
was implicitly assuming as a necessity (given the phrasing of the rest
of the summary), hence the suggestion to drop the "and other content"
for consistency.

These two are the only consistent strategies, AFAICT.

    :-(   This Universe is buggy! Where's the Creator's BTS?   ;-)
  Francesco Poli                             GnuPG Key ID = DD6DFCF4
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