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Re: Free as in speech, but not as in beer

Paul van der Vlis <paul@vandervlis.nl> writes:

> Op 26-03-15 om 01:47 schreef Ben Finney:
> > Paul van der Vlis <paul@vandervlis.nl> writes:
> > 
> >> No, it's plain AGPL v3. But he asks friendly not to remove some code
> >> and then redistribute.
> > 
> > He can ask, and god luck to him. His goal, though – to arbitrarily limit
> > the distribution and concurrent execution of the program – is directly
> > opposed to the goals of the Debian Project, which explicitly seeks to
> > free Debian recipients from such restrictions.
> Where do you see that?  Debian likes licenses like GPL and AGPL.

Yes. Those licenses don't have arbitrary number-of-user limits on the
work, as this work's copyright holder apparently wants to impose.

> It is *well known* that such licenses are not only for programms what
> are free as in "free beer". True or not?

Definitely correct. Selling free software is an essential part of
supporting the development of more free software.

The trick is to make sure the software *is* free while still selling it.
Attempts to limit how many users can access the program concurrently
are, if effective, restrictions that make the work non-free.

> > If the restriction is not legally enforcible, and the legally
> > enforcible license grants all DFSG freedoms, then that license is at
> > odds with the desire to restrict recipients. The expectation must be
> > that we will either remove that restriction to benefit Debian
> > recipients; or decide that the conflicting expressed wishes are too
> > risky, and not include the work in Debian at all.
> It's not about risky, it's about "being nice".

You can say “it's not about risky”, that doesn't negate the fact that it
is risky.

I'm pointing out the risk of mutually contradictory expressions from the
copyright holder: expressing one thing via the chosen license, and
expressing another by directly contradicting the license. The copyright
holder appears to want recipients not to actually exercise the freedoms
directly granted in the license.

That's a risk to Debian recipients – the copyright holder expresses a
desire to act against the freedoms they've nominally granted in the
license – and it's up to the Debian Project to decide whether that's a
risk worth taking on.

> It's like with imapsync.

Maybe so. I don't know, because you haven't allowed us to compare the
actual work and grant of license.

It's not me you need to convince, though: I'm pointing out consequences
of the conditions you are describing.

So far we have only your description of this un-named copyright holder
of an unspecified work. Until we see the work and the expression of what
restrictions are imposed, without a screen of vagueness, we can only
speak in generalities.

Please, if you want a better discussion about this, present the actual
work for us to inspect, complete with the exact text granting license to
the recipient.

 \     “Sittin' on the fence, that's a dangerous course / You can even |
  `\       catch a bullet from the peace-keeping force” —Dire Straits, |
_o__)                                   _Once Upon A Time In The West_ |
Ben Finney

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