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Re: inquery about "GPL with commercial exception"

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On 2015-09-30 02:18, Ben Finney wrote:
> Yes, that is clearly what the GPL calls an “additional restriction”
> on the recipient's exercise of their freedoms guaranteed by the
> GPL.
> GPLv2 §6:
> Each time you redistribute the Program (or any work based on the 
> Program), the recipient automatically receives a license from the 
> original licensor to copy, distribute or modify the Program
> subject to these terms and conditions. You may not impose any
> further restrictions on the recipients' exercise of the rights
> granted herein. You are not responsible for enforcing compliance by
> third parties to this License.

hmm, frankly i don't see how this is very relevant here.
the original licensor (the linuxsampler devs) grants a license to all
recipients. this license includes the "restriction".
the "YOU" in the license only refers to the recipients who would like
to pass on the software to other recipients. they may not add any
"additional" restriction to the license as given by the original licenso
so if "we" (Debian) don't add further restrictions, that should be fine.

>> The page also says that a mandatory dependency of LinuxSampler,
>> libgig, is licensed under GPL without prohibition.
> If LinuxSampler is deemed (hypothetically in the future by a ruling
> in a copyright suit) to be a derived work of libgig, then
> distribution of LinuxSampler is subject to the GPL on libgig.

indeed. this makes the LinuxSampler undistributable.

i've asked upstream (last night, before you brought this to my
attention), whether they are *actually interested* in having
LinuxSampler distributed by 3rd parties.

> In that case — which I believe is the case here — then
> distributing LinuxSampler with additional restrictions in the
> license terms is a violation of the license they have to distribute
> the work at all.
>> In my opinion: - GPL with additional use prohibition is not
>> DFSG-compatible - GPL with additional use prohibition is not
>> GPL-compatible
> As an interesting point, GPLv3 is even better for this: it has a
> clause (GPLv3 §7) that explicitly grants the recipient the freedom
> to ignore the offending additional restriction, and to strip that
> restriction from the terms when they redistribute the work.
> So one possible way to improve this situation is to correspond with
> the copyright holders in each of the works on which LinuxSampler
> depends, and encourage them to release new versions under
> GPLv3-or-later.

people already asked to release LinuxSampler itself under the GPLv3,
which was declined upstream.

as i understand your proposal, we should try to persuade developers of
LinuxSampler's mandatory libraries to solely license new versions
under GPLv3; as soon as LinuxSampler would then have a mandatory
dependency on that *new* version of the library, we would have
brute-forced their license.
i think this is:
- - unfair
while  I would personally perfer LInuxSampler to be DFSG-compliant,
upstream prefers to keep thir software non-free. which is OK (for
certain values of "OK"); i don't think that forcing them into freedom
will do any good.
now any of their dependencies could just decide today to move on to
GPLv3+, which i think is OK (after all, it's the dependency's authors'
decisision). but specifically asking them to do so, just so we can
brute-force 3rd party licensing issues, doesn't sound especially

- - unlikely to have any effect
LinuxSampler could just stick with the original version of their
dependency (e.g. not use any features solely available under GPLv3),
and nothing would be gained at all.
or replace that dependency by something else.
or just drop the entire project ("hooray, another license bastard
eliminated" anyone?)

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