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Re: Is this license DFSG free?

On Sat, 2005-11-06 at 19:12 -0700, Sean Kellogg wrote:

> >      The Initial Developer will be acting as the
> > maintainer of the Source Code.  You must notify the
> > Initial Developer of any modification which You create
> > or to which You contribute, [...]
> > This goes against the Freedom 3 of the FSF's free
> > software defination, and the 3rd clause of the Debian
> > Free software Guidelines.
> How?  Leaving FSF's Freedom 3 out of the picture (unless Debian adopted them 
> at some time), I don't see how requiring the contribution of the modification 
> back to source violates Clause 3 of the DFSG:
> "The license must allow modifications and derived works, and must allow them 
> to be distributed under the same terms as the license of the original 
> software."
> The license allows modification and derived works, and it allows them to be 
> distributed under the same terms as the license.  It doesn't say anything 
> about not requiring contribution.

The key problem is that if Initial Developer becomes unreachable for any
reason, downstream developers will be unable to submit changes, and thus
disallowed from exercising the rights granted under the license.

Considering the half-life of most software projects, software companies,
and email addresses, it can become impossible to contact upstream
developers in just 1-2 years. When there's a send-patches requirement,
nobody else can pick up the mantle and continue developing the program.

I think the suggestion from debian-legal, while the licensor is
accessible and is willing to consider revising the license, is to change
sending patches back to the Initial Developer to a _request_ rather than
a license _requirement_.


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