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Re: Anton's amendment

This one time, at band camp, Thomas Bushnell BSG said:
> Stephen Gran <sgran@debian.org> writes:
> >> So, would you regard a license which permitted the modification of
> >> some features of a program, but not others, to be free?  I would
> >> not.
> >
> > In 1997, at the time of the writing of the DFSG, the BSD clause
> > contained the obnoxious advertising clause.  Yet it still made the
> > list of 'licenses we consider free'.  Is the advertising clause
> > substantially different from an invariant section in intent?
> I can't see any case in which the advertising clause restricts a
> modification of the program.  Can you?  (Note that it is a *part of
> the license*, not a part of the program.)

It does prohibit code reuse, which I think is one of the things under
discussion here.  Code under this license can't be mixed with code under
the GPL, as I'm sure you're aware.  Similarly one could say the GFDL
does not prohibit modification of the program, merely of *part of the

> > I do see differences (mostly that the single sentence the BSD
> > license requires is shorter than an FSF essay), but since we are
> > talking about _freedom_ here, is this license that says I may not
> > remove a block of text that different than that license that says I
> > may not remove this block of text?
> The advertising clause does not say that you may not remove a block of
> text, except in the incidental clause that the words of the clause are
> part of the copyright statement.  And indeed, we have in the past said
> that requirements that are there only to preserve an attribution of
> credit are not problematic.

So would an invariant section that only preserved attribution be free?
If so, why?

Again, I am not convinced, but the arguments don't seem as clear cut to
me as they seem to be to you (for some collective you).
|   ,''`.                                            Stephen Gran |
|  : :' :                                        sgran@debian.org |
|  `. `'                        Debian user, admin, and developer |
|    `-                                     http://www.debian.org |

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