Re: Request for GR: clarifying the license text licensing / freeness issue
On Fri, 27 Apr 2007, Fabian Fagerholm wrote:
> What I'm saying is that the DFSG can only be applied to a certain point.
> We can require that license terms applied to works are DFSG-free. We can
> require that license terms applied to those licenses-as-works are
> DFSG-free. We can require that the license terms applied to those
> licenses-as-works are DFSG-free and so on, "moving up the chain", until
> we hit bare copyright law at the top of the chain (meaning that there
> are no specified additional terms to apply; the license-as-a-work at
> that point has no explicit license). We would then need to add an
> "exception" for copyright law, because what we originally set out to do
> was to claim consistency under a certain (flawed, IMO) interpretation,
> because the consistency would stop at that last link in the chain, and
> because there is no way we can affect the existence or nature of
> copyright law by simply changing words in the DFSG.
I still don't see the problem.
First of all, the interpretation we wish to claim consistency under is "all
bits that are distributed by Debian must follow the DFSG". Copyright law is
not distributed by Debian, and needs no exception.
Second, what will happen in practice is that there will be text that is so
short and functional that it can't be copyrighted. Example: package is under
the GPL. The FSF then says "you can reuse the text of the GPL as long as
you change the name".
There's no infinite regress, because "you can reuse the text of the GPL as
long as you change the name" isn't copyrightable.