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Re: BitTorrent Open Source License (Proposed Changes)

On 8/1/05, Michael Poole <mdpoole@troilus.org> wrote:
> All rambling and ad hominem attacks aside, DFSG analysis is not at all
> about risk; it is about determining whether or not the license imposes
> non-free restrictions or requirements on licensees.  Argument from
> authority will not change that, particularly since it is unclear that
> anyone has -- or will ever have -- relevant experience in law or
> fiduciary duty you specified.

One man's rambling is another man's grounding in real-world law.  As
for "ad hominem attacks", I did say that "not all debian-legal
participants deserve to be tarred with that brush" -- so it's only an
attack on _you_ if you think that "ideologues with brazen contempt for
real-world law" fits _you_.  (The "self-selected" and "no fiduciary
relationship" bits are, I think, uncontroversial -- does anyone here
feel like asserting that they are legally liable for the consequences
of decisions influenced by d-l discussions?)  I did have a couple of
conspicuous individuals in mind, and you were not one of them; if you
can't think of anyone around here whom the shoe fits a lot better than
it fits you, my apologies.

In any case, if you want to say that risk management is outside "DFSG
analysis" (whatever that is), that's fine; but then you shouldn't be
equating "DFSG-free" with "OK, ftpmasters, let it into the archive". 
A formalist attitude towards the DFSG, in which every objection to an
upload has to map into one of its clauses, would probably even strike
Justice Clarence Thomas as taking strict constructionism a little too
far.  Call citations to the actual law in one jurisdiction or another
"argument from authority" if you like, but if that kind of authority
isn't relevant to debian-legal then I hope that debian-legal isn't
very relevant to Debian.

- Michael

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