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

On Thu, Jan 26, 2006 at 11:23:53AM +0100, Yorick Cool wrote:
> Well I obviously agree. My point was that the proposed interpretation
> was drifting so far from the DFSG that it wasn't arguable that it
> wasn't an addition and not a mere interpretation.

A license that says "to modify this software, give me $50" is obviously
non-free; it's an unacceptable restriction on modification.  A license
that says "to do anything in this license, give me $50" is obviously no
less so.

Similarly, saying "to get any of the permissions of this license, you must
agree to the choice of venue" is a restriction on modification (and
distribution, and maybe use), just as much as if it had said "to modify
the software, you must agree to the terms the choice of venue".

This isn't complicated or contrived; it just means you can't circumvent
the DFSG by applying restrictions as conditions to the license as a whole
instead of to specific activities.

(This isn't an argument for choice of venue being non-free, just that
it's clearly something covered by the DFSG.)

> Bas> So, how, according to you, does such a clause _not_ violate DFSG
> #5?
> The main argument to which I adhere, is flatly that such clauses don't
> discriminate against people at all. Let's see, what does

I don't like most arguments based in DFSG#5 and #6.  It's easy to argue
that a choice of venue for California discriminates against people not
in California, but it's just as easy to argue that requiring credit
discriminates against people who like to plagiarize.  I think DFSG#5
and #6 are intended for eg. "Americans may not use the software" and
"the software may not be used for stem cell research".

When a restriction is non-free, there are almost always better arguments
to be found, unless the restriction actually is of the above forms and
falls under the spirit of DFSG#5/6.

Glenn Maynard

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