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Re: BitTorrent Open Source License (Proposed Changes)

Michael K. Edwards writes:

> 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.

I have not meant to equate DFSG freeness with what can go into Debian,
but DFSG freeness is an important threshold issue.  If my messages
misled on that point, I apologize.  There are other factors to
consider, but this thread was originally about which changes were
necessary to make the BitTorrent Open Source License DFSG-free, and I
meant only to address that question.

Michael Poole

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