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Re: Freeness of licence for wwwcount?

"Steve Langasek" <vorlon@debian.org> wrote in message 20050919030709.GA20451@tennyson.dodds.net">news:20050919030709.GA20451@tennyson.dodds.net...
So this license prohibits private modifications.

Based on what I see, this was intended to be expat or BSD-like, except requiring that the source be available on distribution. This is somewhat more like the MPL. It can be used in commercial programs but the source for the parts taken from this package must still be available.

Based on what I have read on d-l, simple statements like this might be interpreted directly by copyright law, rather than by contract law. If that is indeed the case theuse of the words 'use' and 'modification' clauses are legally no-op. Copyright was intended to be the excusive right of the author to control copying of the work in question. It has long been held that private copying is not covered by copyright. (Think: making a cassette tape from a cd). Thus copyright has traditionally been viewed as the exclusive right of the author to control distribution of newly made copies (not yet distributed). First sale prevents the control of copies that have already changed hands. Thus copyright only covers distribution.
That would make the package free.

However if the statement were to be interpreted as a contract, it would indeed prevent private modifications.
That is probably non-free.

It seems to violate DFSG#5, as it prevents the modification of the software by people unnable to pulish the source publicly.

It is also not-GPL compatible regardless of which way it is interpreted, as GPL does not require Public source code access, but only source avilability to the entity reciving a binary copy.

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