[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: GUADEC report

I'm not really familiar with debian's release management, as has been pointed out to me with the strange effects of GR votes, so I'll only cover the debian-legal aspects. Please reply to debian-legal alone, asking for cc if you need it.

On 2004-07-06 18:17:45 +0100 Matthew Garrett <mjg59@srcf.ucam.org> wrote:

3) The way the DFSG is currently interpreted by debian-legal is not obvious to an outsider, and some interpretations are felt to be excessively extreme.

Surely the opinions of any large group will include extremes? The larger the group, the more likely that some will be relatively extreme. I think this is just a symptom of people being unused to seeing a project try to harness a large public participation.

Some companies feel that various licenses were genuine efforts to be DFSG free, but the discussion that followed their release was sufficiently confrontational to reduce any desire to fix any bugs.

I think this is an important point to note. It's also part of the reason why I think the summaries to date haven't been terribly useful and I've tried to start discussion about them. From the response, I suspect many d-l contributors are ignoring the summaries now, sadly. I think that we might see something different with Evan's forthcoming CC summary, so keep watching and please participate if you can.

[...] However, if we want to make any significant argument here, it seems likely that we need the ability to make a solid legal argument as to why copyright law is the wrong way of handling this.

This seems simple: careless use of copyright licences to enforce trademarks frequently results in loss of freedom to make non-infringing use of the trademark in other (related) software. As such, if a copyright permission condition is an "everything is forbidden except X" trademark enforcement term, then that contaminates other software. It doesn't matter that some other use might not infringe the trademark: it would mean we have no copyright permissions on the licensed software. Therefore, we would be infringing copyright.

The correct way to do this seems to be either include a simple trademark notice, not as a condition of copyright, or to use a statement of "X is permitted by all distributors" about the trademark if that is what you meant.

What do you mean by "solid legal argument"? Do we need to find a lawyer to check my reasoning?

[...] The consensus appears to be that GNOME will never ship code that
can't be run with free Java implementations.

This is good news. Well done to GNOME.

MJR/slef    My Opinion Only and not of any group I know
http://www.ttllp.co.uk/ for creative copyleft computing
"To be English is not to be baneful / To be standing by
the flag not feeling shameful / Racist or partial..."

Reply to: