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Re: Ironies abound (was Re: GPL v3 draft)

On Wed, Jan 18, 2006 at 02:37:15AM +0000, Matthew Garrett wrote:
> The fact that they claim the Affero license is free didn't suggest that
> to you already?

Personally, I stopped paying attention to what they claim is free and
non-free when they called the GFDL free.  I just expect people to go
"hey, the GPL itself says it's OK; it must be a good thing, and it
doesn't cause GPL-incompatibility anymore, let's do it!"

> > (On the same note, the patch exception in DFSG#4 has got to go; patch
> > clauses prohibit code reuse entirely.  Some day ...)
> Patch clauses only prohibit code reuse if your build system is
> insufficiently complicated.

If I'm reusing a function from one project with a patch clause, sure.  I
can distribute my entire project as a patch against the project whose
code I'm reusing.  That's hardly reasonable.  It also prohibits me from
using public CVS for my project, since that would perform distribution
of the modified reused code in a form other than a patch against the

If I'm reusing two functions from two or more patch-clause projects, it
becomes much worse.

Patch clauses assume that the only type of modification anyone would ever
want to do to a work is to change the original (eg. the bug fix, feature
addition variety), ignoring the practice of pulling out code from one
project and putting it in another.

I also don't understand why anyone would actually want to defend patch
clauses.  There are very few of them left, so I don't think there's much
of that "don't want my pet package declared non-free" agenda going on,
and it seems like an obviously unreasonable hurdle to reuse.  It seems
like a compromise whose time has passed.

Glenn Maynard

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