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Re: Affero General Public License

On Thu, Feb 09, 2006 at 01:28:57PM +0100, Florian Weimer wrote:
> * Mark Rafn:
> > Is a work free if some modifications are permitted, but would make
> > the resulting work non-free?
> Consider a program which is licensed under the plain GPL.  You
> incorporate parts of OpenSSL into the program, under the standard
> OpenSSL licenses.  The licenses are not compatible, which means that
> the resulting work is not distributable at all (but you still can run
> the software for your own purposes).  You could argue that this case
> is different because you could reimplement the same functionality
> under a compatible license, so this is slightly different.  But the
> example still shows that some kinds of modification can be prevented
> in a DFSG-compliant manner.

This is showing that placing *restrictions* on modifications can be prevented.

It is not showing that some *kinds of modifications* can be prevented.  The
ways in which the DFSG allows licenses to prevent what kinds of modifications
I can make (and distribute) to a work is extremely limited  (Those that are
allowed are mostly about credit and licensing.)  It does not allow saying
"don't remove code to send source" or (in a related case) "don't turn it
into spyware", no more than it allows saying "don't port this code to

These are very different cases, based in two orthogonal principles of
free software: people may turn your software into anything they want
(even stuff that you don't like), and that you're allowed to say "give
everyone else the same freedoms that you received".

Glenn Maynard

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