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Re: Adobe open source license -- is this licence free?

On Thu, Jan 26, 2006 at 11:37:14AM +0400, olive wrote:
> If that is what you think, you must first have the DFSG changed *before* 
> declaring the license non-free. As long as the DFSG is not changed the 
> license remains DFSG-free. A lot of people in this list, declare free or 
> non-free software licenses following the fact they like the license or 
> not and then say that "is obviously non-free by the DFSGL"; while the 
> DFSG does not in reality. Both the FSF and the open source movement (the 
> later use the same rules as the DFSG) declare choice of venue free or 
> open source.

You seem unaware of the way the DFSG works.  It is not a fixed set of
rules, but a set of guidelines to determine freeness.  The DFSG can easily
be interpreted very narrowly or very broadly.  You can read it as "you
can't do this set of things, but anything else is OK"; or, you can read
"you can't restrict modification" as a strict, hard-and-fast rule.

Both of them fail badly.  An overly narrow view would make it useless; it
would allow "you must slay a tiger bare-handed to use this software".  An
overly broad view would also make it useless; it would prohibit even
permissive licenses (eg. the "discrimination" clauses in the DFSG can
apply to just about anything).

Debian takes neither extreme interpretation.  Rather, it looks at a
restriction and, employing human judgement, decides whether it's an
acceptable one to Free Software.  At a high level, the question is, "with
respect to the license, can I reasonably exercise the freedoms the DFSG
requires?"  The answer for Steve is no; in order to exercise his
freedoms, he has to agree to a condition that makes him feel legally

The choice of venue clause is very clearly a restriction on modification,
since accepting it is a condition to receiving permission to modify the
software.  The question isn't whether the DFSG covers that (it clearly
does), but whether that condition is acceptable.

Glenn Maynard

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