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Re: package astrolog

scripsit Ben Finney <bignose+hates-spam@benfinney.id.au>:

> Thanasis Kinias <tkinias@kinias.org> writes:
> > I've been in communication with upstream, and he says that the only
> > thing he intends to prohibit is someone charging money for his free
> > program
> Like, say, putting the program on a storage medium and charging people
> for it? Or charging money to install the program? Or charging money to
> include it as part of a service?

(1) I believe all these are fine.  What's not fine with upstream is someone
saying `want a copy of this package?  send me $20 by Paypal and I'll let
you download a single copy -- but you can't use it on more than one
machine'.  He doesn't mind the software being part of a business that
makes money, but doesn't want it being made (what he sees as) non-free.

It's part of the general idea of `do what you will with it, but don't
make it less free than you found it'.

> Many people do those things and more with Debian or parts of it, and
> we want that to continue.

Of course.

> > (or charging money for a simple dump of the output of his free
> > program; he specifically says he has no objection otherwise to its
> > use in the course of commercial or any other activity.
> That's already too much. Free software includes the freedom to charge
> money for it.

Please see (1) above.  

I agree that upstream's restrictions do not match with GPL, for example,
much less BSDish licensing... but I'm not sure they make it DFSG-unfree.

> > I _think_ that is good enough to move the program out of non-free,
> > as I can't see what part of DFSG is being violated.  The only
> > question I had was about `No Discrimination Against Fields of
> > Endeavor', but upstream assures he that is not the intent.
> That's a contradiction. "Charge money for the software" *is* a field
> of endeavour, that in no way restricts the freedom of the software. 

Is it?  I understood the Fields of Endeavo(u)r clause differently, based
on the examples given -- viz., commerce and genetics.  I.e., Free
software can't restrict what type of work you use it in.  

> To deny the recipient the freedom to charge money is to make the
> software non-free.

Can we be more specific on this?  I ask that because -- as I understand
it -- the crucial distinction is between (i) making a business out of 
using free software, such as charging for CDs, charging for services
like installation, etc., and (ii) charging for the _software itself_.

Upstream specifically agreed that (this being astrology software) a
professional astrologer using the software as part of the service for
which he charged money is OK.  Charging for the software itself or its
direct output (like redirecting STDOUT to a file and charging for the
file) is what he considers putting further restrictions that violate his
concept of keeping his work free.

> > Upstream can't relicense under GPL, for example, because he has
> > accepted code from other contributors under the existing terms.
> That's always an unfortunate situation, to be sure. It's not
> impossible, though, as demonstrated by the relicensing that occurred
> with Linux (from an early non-free license to GPLv2). Or he could
> attempt to contact those people and get their permission to change the
> license terms on a future release.

Or I may be able to remove the code that's under other people's
copyright if I could get upstream to agree to a relicensing of his own
code.  AFAICT what's under others' copyright is some specific functions
which may be removable or replaceable.

Thanasis Kinias
Doctoral Candidate, Department of History, and
  Instructor, Professional Enhancement Programs
Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, U.S.A.
Je ne viens d'aucun pays, d'aucune cité, d'aucune tribu.  Je suis fils de la
route, ma patrie est caravane, et ma vie la plus inattendue des traversées.
  -- Amin Maalouf, _Léon l'Africain_

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