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Re: Is AGPLv3 DFSG-free?

On Sun, 24 Aug 2008 14:17:26 -0400 Arc Riley wrote:

> Given that we're talking about an official FSF license,

Being an official FSF license does not, by itself, prove anything
(other than being officially approved by the FSF, that is), hence I
think mentioning it is superfluous (and even smells of appeal to

> written and
> supported by SFLC lawyers, explicitally GPLv3 compatible,

I would say "artificially" GPLv3 compatible, through ad-hoc
compatibility clauses...

> drafted and
> approved through a lengthy public process that included input from the
> Debian project,

I personally sent comments to both public drafts of the AfferoGPLv3.
See, for instance:

They seem to have been utterly ignored.
I haven't even received any response at all.

The FSF can set up all the public consultation processes they like, but
that does not, by itself, prove that the end result is approved of by
the community of interested parties.
It just proves that the FSF had the *opportunity* to listen to comments
from the community: it was up to them to choose which comments they
would take into account and which they would redirect to /dev/null...

> and adopted by many free software projects,

By many software projects which, thus, chose to become non-free
software projects...
Of course this is my own opinion, and yours differs.
But I added the above "correction" to show that your argument is
circular and thus proves nothing: "this license is adopted by many free
software projects, so it must be free", well, but who said that those
software projects are *free* software projects?

> I think the
> AGPLv3 warrants a bit more involved debate than continually repeating
> personal opinions.

Sorry, but I cannot see any other way to analyze the DFSG-compliance of
(works solely released under the terms of) a license: each involved
person reads the license and compares it with the DFSG; then, he/she
expresses his/her own *opinions* about whether the license succeeds or
fails to meet the DFSG.

Moreover, please keep in mind that the DFSG are *guidelines*, not rules
to be mechanically applied: human judgment is unavoidable...

I hope this clarifies things a bit.

 The nano-document series is here!
..................................................... Francesco Poli .
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