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Re: The "Evil Cookie Producer" case

Op 7/03/2011 2:17, MJ Ray schreef:
Bruno Lowagie wrote:
Please don't avoid the question: does the freedom to hide information
prevail over the freedom to get information?
You mean like you avoided the question: what is the actual case here?
No problem. Let me describe the context. I've been programming since I was 12 years old (1982). I've been working as a developer since 1996. I've been publishing free / open source software since 1999. Depending on the context, I've use the LGPL, the MPL, the GPL and the AGPL as licenses.

A library such as iText is already shipped with Debian, and different other projects depend on it. Other projects aren't part of the distribution, for instance because of their poor quality (e.g. the iText Toolbox which was never meant as a real product), or RUPS (a specialist tool aimed at a very small audience).

Last week, I received a request from a Debian developer who wanted to ship an AGPL product with Debian, but he wanted me to change the license. I'm not a lawyer, but I've been working with (and for) a plethora of lawyers in the last 10 years, and I'm always eager to learn. So I asked an attorney (one that knows F/OSS licenses) to read the DFSG at my own expense (he's paid by the hour), to help me decide whether or not I should change the license as asked by the Debian developer.

I received an answer from my attorney: "there's no reason to change. The license passes the tests." This legal advice didn't convince the Debian developer. In an attempt to help the Debian developer, I wrote a metaphor (exaggerating a bit, but the essence remains: does the freedom to hide a truth prevail over the freedom to get information). I had hoped to get arguments to help the Debian developer, but it turned out differently.

Two out of the three replies tell me that the AGPL is accepted, but controversial. If that is the case, I'll advise the Debian developer NOT to ship that particular product with Debian.

Thank you for your advice, I've learned something I didn't know before.

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