Re: Is this license DFSG free?
On Saturday 11 June 2005 01:29 pm, Joe Smith wrote:
> Consider a dissident in a totalitarian state who wishes to share a modified
> bit of software with fellow dissidents, but does not wish to reveal the
> identity of the modifier, or directly reveal the modifications themselves,
> or even possession of the program, to the government. Any requirement for
> sending source modifications to anyone other than the recipient of the
> modified binary---in fact any forced distribution at all, beyond giving
> source to those who receive a copy of the binary---would put the dissident
> in danger. For Debian to consider software free it must not require any
> such excess distribution.
> The tests are not official but if they are failed it seems wrong to call
> the package free. Remember that the the G is DFSG is 'Guidelines'. Even if
> the package meets the guidelines it may contain clauses that prevent the
> package from being free. For example if a licence requires you to sing
> loudly and/or stand on your head while distributing the software, (assuming
> that those examples do not somehow the guidelines) it would clearly be
> non-free. And debian would be unable to distribute it.
Huh... That's an interesting position for Debian to take. While in principle
I agree that it is certainly preferred to not require disclosure of
modifications, I don't find any grounds in the DFSG that indicate such a
policy stance. One could certainly envision a GPL that required disclosure
without distribution, and I'm willing to bet it was seriously considered at
the time of its drafting. I understand that the 'G' in DFSG provides some
flexability, but can you point to the particular clause that you feel hints
at this sort of a requirement/prohibition?
2nd Year - University of Washington School of Law
GPSS Senator - Student Bar Association
Editor-at-Large - National ACS Blog [http://www.acsblog.org]
So, let go
...Oh well, what you waiting for?
...it's all right
...'Cause there's beauty in the breakdown