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Re: License question: GPL+Exception



On Saturday 12 May 2007 13:30:43 Francesco Poli wrote:
> Mmmmh, does the following "exception" constitute an additional
> restriction with respect to the GNU GPL v2?
>
> | (b) As a further exception, any distribution of the object code of the
> |     Software in a physical product must provide you the right to
> |     access and modify the source code for the Software and to
> |     reinstall that modified version of the Software in object code
> |     form on the same physical product on which you received it.
>
> If this is the case, the work could be even undistributable, because
> it's licensed under inconsistent[1] terms (GPLv2 + additional
> restrictions).
>
> What do other debian-legal contributors think?

This makes it GPL incompatible, but I think it's still DFSG free.

The GPL says:

"""
  6. Each time you redistribute the Program (or any work based on the
Program), the recipient automatically receives a license from the
original licensor to copy, distribute or modify the Program subject to
these terms and conditions.  You may not impose any further
restrictions on the recipients' exercise of the rights granted herein.
You are not responsible for enforcing compliance by third parties to
this License.
"""

So if you redistribute the Program, you may not impose any further 
restrictions. Obviously others, like Debian, could not add additional 
restrictions. However, assuming RedHat is not using parts of GPL software 
in their fonts, they are free to add addition restrictions the their 
originally licensed software--as they copyright holders, they can use any 
license they want. 

So if they say their fonts are GPL+restriction, the fonts are NOT GPL 
compatible, but as long as the restriction itself is DFSG free, the work as 
a whole should be fine. 

The restriction they've added itself is very GPLv3-esque, so I don't see why 
it wouldn't be DFSG free[1].

[1] Cue someone who will point out a billion reasons why they think similar 
clauses in GPLv3 drafts aren't DFSG.

-- 
Wesley J. Landaker <wjl@icecavern.net> <xmpp:wjl@icecavern.net>
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