Re: clause 3 of GPL v3 - possible conflict with DFSG
Shriramana Sharma writes:
> Please can anyone translate clause 3 of the GPL v3 to plain English?
> Am I wrong in understanding that it means that no-one may use a
> software licensed under GPL v3 to enforce DRM? If I am not wrong, then
> does not this conflict with clause 6 of the DFSG - "The license must
> not restrict anyone from making use of the program in a specific field
> of endeavor." thereby making GPL v3 non DFSG-free?
You are not wrong in understanding that it denies special legal
protections for DRM to GPLed works. However, that is not a field of
endeavor in the sense that the DFSG is generally interpreted, in part
because those legal protections are unique to (and elevated because
of) DRM. The apparent goal of clause 3 is to apply usual copyright
laws to the entire system, rather than allow a distributor to invoke a
more restricted special-case set.
The other common example of something that is not a field of endeavor
is violating the software's copyright: if that were a covered "field
of endeavor", no license could ever be enforced. A common example of
something that *is* a field of endeavor is use by a military force or
in military systems.
I am not sure that anyone has proposed a clear, unambiguous way to
interpret "field of endeavor" in the sense that the DFSG means, but I
personally tend to consider the end user's use of the software rather
than a distributor's objective. The DFSG -- like the FSF's software
freedoms -- is ultimately meant to help the end user make the most out