Re: DFSG-compatibility of X13-ARIMA-SEATS (U.S. federal govt. software)
Sébastien Villemot writes ("DFSG-compatibility of X13-ARIMA-SEATS (U.S. federal govt. software)"):
> However, the last clause of the licence says that the `user agrees to
> make a good faith effort to use the Software in a way that does not
> cause damage, harm, or embarrassment to the United States/Commerce.'
I think this is straightforwardly non-free.
Suppose that Russia or the People's Republic of China wants to use
Debian in a weapon system, and wants to use this package (whatever it
does) as part of that.
Of course many people object to working on weapons systems, and I
would avoid doing so myself. But the compromise we make when working
in Free Software is that we choose to waive our right to pick and
choose who benefits from our software, and to what uses our software
If we want to fight against robotic weapons systems, or torture, or
war at all, or oppressive governments, we still avoid prosecuting that
fight by means of writing prohibitions in our software licences. The
alternative would be an incomprehensible warren of interlocking
restrictions about which software can be used for what and by whom.
The restriction you quote is particularly bad, because it
discriminates in favour of specific people. One is forbidden from
using this software to attack the United States (whether with
violence, or with words). Attacking the European Union or Russia or
the PRC is fine. Except within the US of course where the licence
doesn't apply - so Russian and PRC agents in the US can use it, and
only risk being convicted of spying or sabotage, and not the much
worse crime of copyright licence violation.