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Re: QPL and non-free

On Wed, Dec 21, 2005 at 02:08:13AM +0000, Matthew Garrett wrote:
> But the DFSG are intended to be a more detailed description of what free
> software (a term initially defined by the FSF) is. If the DFSG are
> wildly divergent from the FSF's viewpoint, we need to figure out how and
> why.

Although the definitions may differ somewhat (hardly "wildly divergent"),
that's not why we come to different conclusions about the QPL.

Both definitions value the freedom to redistribute.  Both definitions
require human judgement, to determine whether a particular restriction
on redistribution is acceptable.  (Neither can be taken to an extreme,
as a checklist of rules, as we've discussed at so much length.)

And that's where they really differ: different people implement them.
Is "to redistribute the work, you must agree to a venue of Norway"
acceptable or not?  Both definitions lean against restricting distribution,
but the final answer doesn't lie squarely in the letter, since neither
tries to predict every strange and onerous restriction people dream up.

Ultimately, I don't know why the FSF considers it acceptable that I should
need to agree to fly out to Norway on a copyright holder's aggrevated whim
(I don't know if they've even considered it), and I do know why most of
d-legal considers it unacceptable--but the difference doesn't indicate a
wide discrepency in the definitions.

(I chose "redistribution" arbitrarily--actually, the choice of venue seems
intended as "in order to get *any* of the permission of this license, you
must agree to Norway", so it's a restriction on every freedom.)

> Having two different definitions of free software does nothing to
> help the community.

If the FSF's definition allows onerous restrictions that Debian's does
not, then I disagree.

Glenn Maynard

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