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Re: Dissident test (was re: CDDL)

On Sat, Sep 10, 2005 at 08:38:19PM -0400, Catatonic Porpoise wrote:
> Marco d'Itri wrote:
> >>This might fail the Dissident test (and thus discriminate against
> >>   
> >>
> >Which is not part of the DFSG, so it does not matter.
> > 
> >
> The Dissident test is a test for DFSG #5, so it does matter. See:
> http://wiki.debian.net/?DissidentTest
> http://people.debian.org/~bap/dfsg-faq.html

Can we go back to interpreting the DFSG and the licence in real terms, instead
of blindingly trying to apply random strange tests ?

Do we really all agree that a licence is non-free if we don't allow anonymous
modifications ? If so, please say :

  This clause doesn't allow anonymous modification, and thus we consider it

And not speak about dissidents, desert islands and other such.

Now, i believe this falls in the same category as the choice-of-venue clause,
and namely that the DFSG #5 was drafted in order to not discriminate against
specific group of people, as in :

  people born on halloween are the fruit of evil, and thus are excluded by
  this licence. (or whatever).

Instead of going with very subtle and roundabout wys, and using discrimination
for any random thing, like discrimination against poor people or people who
want to be anonymous, which should, if we decide to go this way, be explicitly
mentioned in the DFSG, instead of trying to deturn one of the guidelines into
any random interpretation.

Now, to the anonymous modification clause in itself. First it applies only to
distribution of anonymous modifications, and more to the point, to integration
of those anonymous modifications into mainline patches.

My own interpretation of this CDDL clause is that the ai, of it is to maintian
the copyright situation pure, in order to avoid SCO-like disasters over the
code base. The same kind of practice is involved with the current handling of
the mainline linux tree.

What does this mean for someone who wants to make an anonymous contributions ?
Well, since the contribution is anonymous, neither can his licence be revoked,
nor anything can happen to him. If we discover who he is, the code is not
anonymous anymore and the problem is solved. 

The only real problem is that the people caring about purity of code want to
include such a patch, which is something they will not be able to do, in order
to maintain the tracability of the copyright situation of the code.

furthermore, how can you comply with 3.2 :

  You represent that You believe Your Modifications are Your original creation(s)
  and/or You have sufficient rights to grant the rights conveyed by this License.

If you are not able to tell your own name ? And how will you then be able to
respond someone suing us pretending we stole their code if we have no
tracability information over who wrote it.

So, in the post-SCO world, not only is the right of anonymous modifications
not a DFSG violation, but i believe we would do well in explicitly forbiding
integration in debian of anonymous code.


Sven Luther

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