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

Thomas Preud'homme writes ("Re: GPLv3 source code with license check for some build configuration, DFSG ok?"):
> The questions I was asking in the original thread on -mentors are:
> - Is a non-ultimate build DFSG ok?
> - Does the ultimate build respect the GPLv3?

I think there is no legal problem.  The questions are of ethics.

AFAICT from what you are saying:

The "ultimate" build is somehow superior.

The upstream authors have granted legal permission by using the GPLv3,
to disable the licence check.  I guess that they would prefer users of
the "ultimate" build to pay them or something; this is probably mostly
"enforced" by providing users pre-built binaries, and hoping that
no-one will ship non-licence-enforcing binaries.

So I don't think there is any _legal_ problem with any of the options
you are considering.

> Feature wise, the ultimate edition seems to only differ in the
> license check, message with the version being embedded the word
> "ultimate" and the absence of the following text in the UI: "Buy the
> Ultimate version to fund development".  The ultimate build seems to
> be limited to Mac OS and Windows only, ie it does not build on Linux
> but that's only because of a macro check. It could trivially be
> disabled.

I think there is nothing very objectionable about that UI text,
provided it's not too intrusive.  Indeed, GNU programs print
self-advertisements too (not asking for money, so that's perhaps a bit
different, but the same principle applies).

If the extra UI is an annoying nag then there should be a way to
disable it but IMO you can leave it enabled by default.

> Given the differences mentionned above, I prefer to just use a non ultimate 
> build. The only difference except version number in some help string is to 
> encourage users to contribute to its development by telling them to buy the 
> ultimate edition. They are free not to do it so I think that respects the 


So, there is no problem, I think.

Personally, I would not simply disable the UI nag, even though we have
legal permission to do so.  Upstream would probably find it annoying.

OTOH if there are actual _features_ in the "ultimate" version that
aren't in the standard version, they should be enabled in the Debian
package.  It is OK for a Debian package to promote, to a limited
extent, the reasonable agenda of its upstreams - but we should not be
shipping crippleware.



Ian Jackson <ijackson@chiark.greenend.org.uk>   These opinions are my own.

If I emailed you from an address @fyvzl.net or @evade.org.uk, that is
a private address which bypasses my fierce spamfilter.

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