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Re: Request for GR: clarifying the license text licensing / freeness issue

On Tue, 2007-04-24 at 18:13 +1000, Ben Finney wrote:
> The context of that statement is the GPL as a license, not as a
> work. The license, applied to another work, is free.
> The GPL as a work, however, is *not* free, since the license on that
> work does not grant the requisite freedoms. Surely there's no
> disagreement on this?

It is irrelevant, because of several reasons that have already been
pointed out in this discussion. Everyone has their favourite reason, and
the most important in my own opinion is that the requirements of freedom
in the SC and DFSG do not extend to the licenses of the licenses that
works are licensed under. This follows necessarily from the legal
composition of copyright, which readers are expected to be (at least
vaguely) familiar with when considering these issues. There is no need
to explain or define copyright in these documents.

Or do you think that we should also explicitly state that the licenses
of licenses of licenses are exempt from the requirements in the DFSG,
although we encourage authors to make them DFSG-free, too? What about
the licenses of those? Should we explicitly state in the DFSG that we
consider copyright to be non-free, but we're going to make an exception
for it? (I wonder what the rationale for that exception would be...)
Should we state in a GR that we recommend that copyright be changed or
abolished, because it's non-DFSG-free, but that we will put up with it
in the meantime? There's of course no need for you to answer these
questions. I just think they are quite amusing in their absurdity, and
they have some important resemblance to the original GR request.

I have also read the rest of your post, in which you restate your
original statements. I acknowledge these as your opinion, but I have
already given my comment on them.

Fabian Fagerholm <fabbe@paniq.net>

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