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Re: Dissident test

<quote who="Michael Poole" date="Sun, Sep 11, 2005 at 08:55:31AM -0400">
> Sven Luther writes:
> > 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
> > ?
> Can we please not interpret DFSG#5 as saying "A license may not
> discriminate against any person or group of persons unless somebody
> thinks such discrimination is acceptable"?
> DFSG#5 is very plain and very broad: it prohibits discrimination
> against *any* person or group.  If you think it should be narrowed,
> propose an amendment to the SC.

The language in the DSFG tends to be very plain and broad and absolute
but *everyone's* interpretation is nuanced.  DFSG#3 says, "the license
must allow modifications and derived works," and this list has argued
long and hard over what that means. There seems to be consensus around
the idea that this does not mean the right to modify the text of the
license or the copyright statement and there's disagreement about
things like advertising clauses and the GPL(2)(c) which are
restrictions on modifications that many people consider free.

You seem to be making a call for interpreting the DFSG literally. I
think this is impossible. We should stay as close to the spirit of the
DFSG and we should rely on the text as our best clue. However, things
will *always* come down to human judgment calls at one point or


Benjamin Mako Hill

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