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Re: Question about GPL and DFSG Compatibility of a Proposed Amendment to the W3C Document Licence

On Thu, 28 Apr 2011 07:27:28 -0700 (PDT) Walter Landry wrote:

> Walter Landry <wlandry@caltech.edu> wrote:
> > Option 1
> As noted, the clause 
>    HOWEVER, the publication of derivative works of this document for
>    use as a technical specification is expressly prohibited.
> makes the license incompatible with the DFSG, so I will not spend any
> time on any other parts.


> > Option 2
> > --------
> I would say that this option fails the DFSG because it only allows
> copying and modification of "reasonable" amounts.

Agreed, again.

> It would also be incompatible with the GPL,

I think it is indeed GPL-incompatible, as you say, but... 

> so I do not understand why Eben Moglen
> would say that it is compatible.

...as far as I understand, Eben Moglen believes Option *3* to be
GPL-compatible (see the message that started this thread).
Now we are talking about Option 2.

> > Option 3
> > --------
> So what if I want to make derivative works that do not facilitate
> implementation of the specifications?

It seems that you cannot do that.
This seems to indicate that even Option 3 fails to meet the DFSG.
It also makes Option 3 GPL-incompatible, I would say.

> What if Neal Stephenson writes
> a GPL-licensed book that includes the standard but modified by an evil
> megacorp for nefarious purposes?

I would be really looking forward to reading such a novel!
Great example!      ;-)

>     * Option 3 Broad reuse in software and software documentation to
>       implement the specification, with an implicit field of use
>       restriction.
> If they believe that, then Option 3 is incompatible with the DFSG and
> the GPL.

As clarified in other messages of this same thread, the fact is that
one of the stated goals is forbidding (incompatible) forks.
This is fundamentally in conflict with basic Free Software principles.

I think you cannot forbid forks and still meet the DFSG or be
You can impose some licensing restrictions to forks (as the GPL does),
but you cannot forbid a fork, just because it is "too different from
the original" or something like that.

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..................................................... Francesco Poli .
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