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Re: Non-freeness of the AFL v3.0

On Thu, 06 Nov 2014 23:39:28 +0100 Florian Weimer wrote:

> * Francesco Poli:
> > Could you please write a (short, but reasoned) point-by-point rebuttal
> > of my license analysis?
> <https://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2012/09/msg00082.html>

Hello Florian,
thanks for taking the time to write a rebuttal.

> I think it is fair to interpret “available documentation” in the
> context of the Original Work and the modifications made.  It is
> similar to the build scripts requirement in the GPLv3.

Maybe, but you'll probably agree that it is not crystal clear...

> You have confused “Licensor” and the licensee (“You”).

Actually, I did write that the absence of a requirement *for the
licensee* to distribute source could weaken my concerns about the
definition of source.

> Clause 5 is mostly a NOP, and certainly not comparable at all to the
> Afferro GPL because the AFL is not a copyleft license.

Its potential harm may be not comparable to that of the Affero GPL v3
restriction, but I am still concerned that the clause may mean one has
to obtain express license acceptance assent from remote users.

> Clause 6 can be misused, but we can deal with that if ad when it
> happens.

Yes, that's more or less what Andrew Suffield said and I agreed with

> Clause 9 is indeed unclear.  Based on Larry Rosen's comments, it may
> refer to the acceptance of the umbrella/aggregation license terms
> during the installation process of some distributions.

If I understand what you mean, this umbrella license acceptance step is
something that the current debian-installer does not enforce (and, just
to be clear, I would be against any proposal to implement such a step).

Anyway, I am not convinced that Larry Rosen was talking about this kind
of umbrella license acceptance step. He seems to think that the Debian
Project is behaving correctly, but

 a) he seems to make extravagant statements (such as the one quoted by
    Walter [1])

 b) he speaks for himself as author of the license text; his
    interpretation may be the "canonical" one, but it won't be
    necessarily followed by all the copyright holders

[1] https://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2014/11/msg00003.html

> Your remaining points are controversial (you already said so).

Please note that  "controversial" != "necessarily false"  .

You seem to imply that, when some people consider a clause to be
non-free, while some others consider it acceptable, the Debian Project
should necessarily follow the latter opinion, and neglect the former.

I would say that the opposite should be done in many cases, to stay on
the safe side...

 fsck is a four letter word...
..................................................... Francesco Poli .
 GnuPG key fpr == CA01 1147 9CD2 EFDF FB82  3925 3E1C 27E1 1F69 BFFE

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