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Re: What is the most restrictive DFSG approved "Commercialism prohibited"

Jari Aalto <jari.aalto@cante.net> writes:

> Evan Prodromou <evan@debian.org> writes:
> > Typically people who are opposed to commercial use are really
> > opposed to commercial _exploitation_. They don't want their work
> > to be used unfairly or selfishly. A copyleft license like the GPL
> > can prevent some of the more egregious misuses of a piece of
> > software, but not all.
> Ok, so what is the most "restrictive" license that I might be able
> to discuss with the upstream. I mean -- in the sense, that when
> software would use that license, it would be hard to use the
> software for commercial purposes / exploited.

You really need to know more about what the copyright holder wants to
prevent. As stated, "for commercial purposes" isn't something that can
be prevented without the result being non-free software.

Ask them what *specific* acts they want to prevent, and (as far as you
feel comfortable) ask them why. Try to find actions that you think are
reasonable and ask if they agree (e.g. distributing the software for a
fee; customising the software and selling the result; etc.)

> Is the winner Good Old (tm) GPL; of all the choices?

It certainly is the one best understood. It is a copyleft, which means
that no-one can gain by placing additional restrictions on the
recipient; if you explain this to the copyright holder, you may be
able to convince them that this is an acceptable limit on the actions
they don't like.

> What specific arguments would you suggest I could while talking with
> the upstream to persuade him to make the move to another license?

Try to get them to see things from the recipient's point of view. Free
software is about ensuring the recipient has exercise of certain
freedoms in the software, without demanding that the software creator
relinquish *all* their rights.

Copyleft is about ensuring that the recipient can't then take those
freedoms away from someone else. That might be enough for the person
you're talking with, in which case, the GPL is the best-understood and
most-popular copyleft license.

 \      "I busted a mirror and got seven years bad luck, but my lawyer |
  `\                     thinks he can get me five."  -- Steven Wright |
_o__)                                                                  |
Ben Finney

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