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

On 28 Jan 2006 11:32:08 -0500, Michael Poole <mdpoole@troilus.org> wrote:
> I submit that, under this logic, fees to execute software or create
> derivative works are free since they are not mentioned anyhere in the
> DFSG.  The usual response to this is that Debian would be restricted
> in doing things like porting software, fixing bugs, and so forth.  The
> SC and DFSG make no mention of those tasks, either.

I think that "people who use the software" constitutes a relevant group
of people for "The license must not discriminate against any person or
group of persons."

I think "people who don't use the software" and "people who violate
the license terms" do not constitute relevant groups of people.

Furthermore, I don't think the problem with this license is a problem
with the license at all.  It's that some people have a problem with
the licensor.  Since the GPL could just as easily be abused for
harassment purposes (requiring proof of compliance for every
copy delivered, or some nonsense like that), I think that this kind
of thing should not be thought of as a DFSG issue.

Finally, if Adobe were to start with harassing lawsuits, where they
claim some bogus violation of this license, they could very well
find themselves faced with counter-suits for abuse of the judicial
process to discourage participation in matters of public interest.
This might seem a stretch to you, but arguments have been made
(and not struck down) in Bernstein v. United States that computer
software, including especially programs can be speech protected
by the first amendment.

This protection is an explicit part of California law, and the license
explicitly states that California law is relevant to all disputes
involving the license.

I don't think Adobe would want to expose themselves to that kind
of risk, so I think we can take this license at face value.


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