Clause 7d (was Re: Ironies abound (was Re: GPL v3 draft)
Well, I did devise a potentially Free alternative for the infamous clause 7d
after an hour or two's thought.
The key point here was that the clause suffered from specifying means rather
than ends, which we have diagnosed as a major source of license drafting
errors. By restricting the functionality of the program and all derivative
works, it causes endless trouble. Instead, I attempted to rewrite this as a
restriction which could be imposed on the recipients of the license.
So here it is:
"7d. They may require that propagation of a covered work which causes it to
have users other than You, must enable all users of the work to make and
receive copies of the work."
This leverages the careful definition of "propagate" up top, so that it avoids
restricting any acitivities which do not require a copyright license.
A restriction along these lines would mean that
(1) it imposes no restrictions on the *writers* of derivative works
(2) If you've already distributed (or offered to distribute) the work to all
its users (the normal case and the troublesome one for the original clause),
you have no additional obligations
(3) making the program available for users over the Internet (or on a local
server) -- if and only if that requires a copyright license, which it
probably does -- requires that you provide access to the source code to those
users, according to the usual GPL v3 clauses regarding distributing copies.
What do other people think of this? It's sort of a forced distribution
clause, but it only forces distribution to the people you're already allowing
to use the program. If it's considered acceptable, we could push to have
this replace the proposed (7d).