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

On Tue, 24 Apr 2007, Fabian Fagerholm wrote:
> > 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.

What are you talking about?

If by "legal composition of copyright" you mean "license texts are copyrighted,
so they cannot be DFSG-free", that's false.  We include plenty of copyrighted
materials which are DFSG-free.

If by "legal composition of copyright" you mean "license texts are used to
indicate how other things are copyrighted, and cannot do that if they are
modified", that's wrong.  You're assuming that "modifying a license" means 
"trying to relicense the thing the license is attached to".  That's incorrect.
One might want to modify a license in order to reuse the license somewhere
else.  Modifying a license in this way has no bearing on the licensing of
the work to which the license was originally attached, and the copyright of
the work does not restrict modifying the license this way.

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