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Re: Zimbra and Yahoo Public License



On Fri, 14 Mar 2008 11:41:32 +0000 (GMT) MJ Ray wrote:

> Bas Zoetekouw <bas@debian.org> wrote:
> > Miriam wrote:
> > > What about "6.2 - In the event Yahoo! determines that You have
> > > breached this Agreement, Yahoo! may terminate this Agreement." ? Would
> > > it give Yahoo! the power to terminate the license randomly at their
> > > will
[...]
> > I think it's similar to the GPL termination clause: if you're violating
> > the license, your rights under the license are retracted.
> 
> GPL termination clause is at
> http://www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/gpl.html#section8
> and does not allow the copyright holder to determine a breach unlaterally.

True.  I didn't notice that important difference.
Thanks for catching it!

> 
> The Yahoo one looks like a holder-termination clause to me, so I think it
> fails DFSG but I'm not sure exactly how.

I would say that, if the copyright holder can almost arbitrarily
terminate the license at will, then each freedom required by the DFSG
is at stake.
Someone could argue that the DFSG never say "in perpetuity" when they
require a permission to be granted, but, on the other hand, can a work
be free software just for a limited time frame?

Maybe another argument can be made, in order to see that a
holder-termination clause is non-free: it fails DFSG#5 by
discriminating against people the copyright holder doesn't like.

Same old disclaimers: IANAL, TINLA, IANADD, TINASOTODP.

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