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Re: Trolltech GPL violation?

On Wed, 4 Jan 2006 00:29:14 +0000 Andrew Suffield wrote:

> On Tue, Jan 03, 2006 at 11:08:03PM +0000, Matthew Garrett wrote:
> > While I won't actually try to use this as an argument of fact, the
> > majority of people I've spoken to about this don't feel happy about
> > declaring the QPL non-free.
> And about declaring KDE non-free because it has an invalid license,
> and the GFDL, etcetera.
> "Not being happy" about it is quite irrelevant and also a rather
> strange things to say. Why would anybody be happy about discovering
> that something in main isn't free? That's a rather dubious suggestion
> to be making.
> Such conversations usually take the form "waah, those evil
> debian-legal bastards are trying to throw $foo out of main", rather
> than "here are the things which this license does not permit you to
> do, do you really think that's free?". As such they are in practice
> little more than trolling and their results disinteresting.


> > It's also worth noting that historically
> > we've tended to agree with the FSF over whether a software license
> > is free or not. The fact that this has started to change recently
> > suggests that somebody's opinion is changing.
> > 
> > (The fact that the FSF declared the QPL a free software license
> > really quite a long time ago may offer some insight into who's
> > changing here)
> But that insight would be wrong. A little investigation into how the
> FSF deals with these things would reveal that they have no public
> analysis forum like debian-legal, and so they are most likely unaware
> of the issues and their declaration would therefore be a mistake on
> their part. Most likely, somebody just eyeballed it, said "yes, that
> looks like it's supposed to be a free license", and added it to the
> list.

That's possible (and unfortunate!).  :-(

> There's nothing interesting to see here - nothing is
> actually changing between us and the FSF (except for the GFDL
> strangeness - note that they agree with us that it's not a free
> software license, but merely claim that it's a free 'something else',
> without saying what that thing is).

Exactly so.

> All that's really changing is that we've got a few people with odd
> agendas running around muck-flinging. Quite what this is supposed to
> accomplish is unclear. The only result I can think of is to inhibit
> the correction of licenses - effectively, to reduce the amount of free
> software available.

I agree, and that's worrying.

Actually many software packages are now DFSG-free only because someone
found out some issues with their previous licenses and brought those
issues to upstream's attention.
Those non-free clauses would have never been fixed, if everyone had
claimed that those issues did not exist.

As for every other kind of bugs, recognizing the existence of a
licensing bug is the first step towards fixing it.

    :-(   This Universe is buggy! Where's the Creator's BTS?   ;-)
  Francesco Poli                             GnuPG Key ID = DD6DFCF4
 Key fingerprint = C979 F34B 27CE 5CD8 DC12  31B5 78F4 279B DD6D FCF4

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