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Re: GPLv3 source code with license check for some build configuration, DFSG ok?

This seems to be a good use of the ‘debian-legal’ discussion forum.

Can you reply to this thread – note the Cc to ‘debian-legal’, please
subscribe there to follow if you like – with a copy of the exact text
granting license (“you may such-and-such under conditions so-and-so”).

More questions follow.

Thomas Preud'homme <thomas.preudhomme@celest.fr> writes:

> ultracopier's source code has a license check when built in ultimate
> mode. However the source code is readily available, licensed under
> GPLv3 and I plan to ship a non ultimate build into Debian. Is that ok
> according to DFSG and thus ok to distribute in Debian?

You'll need to explain more of what “ultimate mode” means.

Especially we need to know what change in program behaviour would be had
by some recipient choosing to disable that check and redistribute it to

> I would say yes because the build Debian would distribute wouldn't be
> restricted in use and its source code would be readily available and
> free to be modified.

Note that the freedoms of the DFSG must be available to every Debian
recipient, whether direct or indirect. If not, the work is not DFSG-free.

> I'm less sure about the ultimate edition (note that this would not
> affect Debian). GPLv3 says:
> "You may not impose any further restrictions on the exercise of the […]

That is a significant concern, yes.

If the recipient can simply ignore the additional restriction, and there
is no effective change to the program behaviour, then that is not really
an effective restriction and we may as well just patch out the non-free

If the recipient cannot simply ignore the additional restriction, then
to some extent the restriction makes the work non-free. Some other
resolution would be needed; plausibly, this would exclude the work from

When you can describe more we can judge the conditions better.

 \        “No matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep |
  `\                                up.” —Jane Wagner, via Lily Tomlin |
_o__)                                                                  |
Ben Finney

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