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Re: GPL v3 Draft

On Tue, Jan 17, 2006 at 02:49:24AM -0500, Glenn Maynard wrote:
> On Tue, Jan 17, 2006 at 05:05:26PM +1000, Anthony Towns wrote:
> > HTTP and FTP sound pretty equivalent to me. I don't think you'd have any
> > problems finding an expert witness to testify to that. HTTP and rsync
> > might not be, though. I'm not sure a court would have much difficulty in
> > allowing "equivalent" to allow for "well, the source archive is /more/
> > capable, we figured that woudl be fine", though.
> What about binaries via BitTorrent, source via HTTP? BT would be more
> capable than HTTP for many projects' binaries, and HTTP more capable for
> source, where a lot of people download binaries and few download source.

I can't see a reason why you wouldn't make the source available by bittorrent

> They're clearly not equivalent, but it seems like a perfectly reasonable
> distribution scheme.

I don't know; they're not that non-equivalent: they both distribute
verbatim files at you. If the http server had insufficient bandwidth,
or wasn't as available as the bt network, there could be an issue,
but I wouldn't say they're non-equivalent in all circumstances.

> > > > d) They may require that the work contain functioning facilities that
> > It's interesting that the word they've chosen is "contain", not "retain".
> Well, "retain" would imply I can't change it, which would be even worse.

No, retain would just mean you couldn't remove it -- it's also what
the Affero GPL requires. "Contain" is stronger -- it means if it's not
already there, you have to add it.

> > OTOH, at its absolute worst, it doesn't make GPLv3 stuff that doesn't make
> > use of that option non-free.
> I think you're the third person to say something along those lines: "be
> thankful, it could be a lot worse".  

I think you're underestimating just how bad some of us expected the
GPLv3 draft to be. :)

> It's still endorsing an extremely
> onerous class of restriction, implying that it's acceptable, helpful,
> and that the classes of application screwed over by it is unimportant.
> It's discouraging that people are thankful that's "all it is" ...

The Affero license came out in 2002, at which point flash cards cost
~$1/MB; they now seem to cost around 6c/MB. Hard drives, bandwidth,
etc seem to be similarly better. How hard is it really to satisfy these

(The Affero licenses clause is:

    d) If the Program as you received it is intended to interact with
    users through a computer network and if, in the version you received,
    any user interacting with the Program was given the opportunity to
    request transmission to that user of the Program's complete source
    code, you must not remove that facility from your modified version
    of the Program or work based on the Program, and must offer an
    equivalent opportunity for all users interacting with your Program
    through a computer network to request immediate transmission by
    HTTP of the complete source code of your modified version or other
    derivative work.

There was also an RPSL clause for similar purposes that was more problematic)


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