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Re: Desert island test

Ken Arromdee <arromdee@rahul.net> wrote:
> On Thu, 6 Mar 2008, MJ Ray wrote:
> > [Ken Arromdee <arromdee@rahul.net> wrote:]
> > > No, that isn't true.  A change to the license which says you don't need to
> > > include source would prevent the bloody murderer from being a problem,
> > > just like a change saying you don't need to send changes off the island
> > > would prevent the island from being a problem.
> > 
> > How could changing the license prevent the bloody lunatic from
> > carrying out his promise "if you distribute any code licensed under
> > the GPL with the corresponding source code, he will hunt you down and
> > kill you in cold blood"?
> If you change the license so it doesn't require you to include source,
> you could distribute without source.  The lunatic only kills you if you
> distribute with source.  Thus, he wouldn't kill you.

However, it isn't free software if the source is undistributable, no
matter whether the licence requires it or not.  Lest anyone forgets,
access to source code is one of the DFSG and a prerequisite for the
FSF's Four Freedoms.  Even if the GPL changed and didn't require it,
the bloody lunatic would still be preventing the software being free
software for the people he/she/it covers.

> The lunatic interfering with you distributing source is like the island
> interfering with you sending changes back to the author.

Except that source distribution is necessary to be free software, while
sending changes back to the author is not.

Hope that explains,
My Opinion Only: see http://people.debian.org/~mjr/
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