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Re: Copy vs. (re)distribute

On Tue, May 13, 2008 at 7:04 PM, Ben Finney
<bignose+hates-spam@benfinney.id.au> wrote:
> Cyril Brulebois <kibi@debian.org> writes:
>> since I've got upstreams (having copied some code from others,
>> that's why they aren't spelling it out directly) that aren't
>> convinced that having the rights to copy, use, modify is
>> insufficient to meet the DFSG.
> This is answered directly by DFSG §3:
>    3. Derived Works
>       The license must allow modifications and derived works, and must
>       allow them to be distributed under the same terms as the license
>       of the original software.

The confusion seems to be a misunderstanding about the discrete rights
that are under discussion.  These rights are:

* Copy - The right to make duplicates of the work
* Use - The right to access/run/read/etc the work
* Modify - The right to make changes to the work
* Distribute - The right to transfer (modified or not) copies of the
work to others

Let's take Microsoft Windows as an example.  Of the 4 above rights, I
am granted 2 of them by Microsoft.  I have the right to Use the
software, and I have the right to Distribute the software.  I do not
have the right to Copy the software, and I do not have the right to
Modify the software.

What is the implication of this?  If I want to distribute my copy of
Windows, I must satisfy the requirements that I do not modify or copy
it.  In this case, I can do that by transferring all media,
documentation, etc, to someone else, and destroy any copies of it that
I have in my possession. This makes the software non-Free.

Let's take Pine as another example.  I retain the rights to Copy, Use,
and Modify the software, but I do not enjoy the right to Distribute
modified copies of the software, that is retained by the original
authors (and thus why Pine is non-Free).

It is imperative that the right to distribute derived works always
follows the software, along with the rights to copy, use, and modify
it, in order for the software to be Free.

I'm sure my illustrations are overly simplistic, and I'd welcome any
correction.  I'm hopeful, however, that the meaning is clear, and
hopefully clarifies things for your upstream to a reasonable degree.



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