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Re: [Fsfe-uk] Explanation of Tivosiation and problems - comments sought

From: Alex Hudson
Subject: Re: [Fsfe-uk] Explanation of Tivosiation and problems - comments sought
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2006 14:56:38 +0000

On Mon, 2006-12-18 at 14:32 +0000, Ciaran O'Riordan wrote:
> Alex Hudson <address@hidden> writes:
> > I'm not sure what argument you're making - that the GPL can place extra
> > burdens on commercial distributors simply because they're making a
> > product? 
> Sort of.  The licence has to contain some restrictions, so what restrictions
> are reasonable?

Well, I disagree with the premise of your statement - I think of
licenses as lists of exemptions [from copyright; in this case], not a
list of restrictions. The default case is that something is completely
restricted; the license doesn't need to add any.

I also wouldn't agree with the statement that "[f]or acts that involve
commerce and organisations, it's ok to add more restrictions". I believe
everyone should get the same license. How much money you make, for
example, should be inconsequential.

However, I think it's something of a straw man argument anyway. You're
assuming that the extra burden falls squarely on those easily able to
shoulder such a burden. While I suspect that is who the clause is aimed
at, there is no such limitation in the clause: my point is that it is
broader. For example, you claimed that the firewall example I gave would
only affect hardware manufacturers, when clearly it doesn't.

I think attempting to divide between "commercial" and "non-commercial"
use is a largely problematic task anyway. While it's usually quite easy
to label certain uses as "commercial", e.g. RedHat supplying a
maintained and supported distribution for £££, there are many that



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