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Re: [Fsfe-uk] Re: Freedom to take freedom

From: MJ Ray
Subject: Re: [Fsfe-uk] Re: Freedom to take freedom
Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2008 10:59:17 +0000
User-agent: Heirloom mailx 12.2 01/07/07

Alex Hudson <address@hidden> wrote:
> On Wed, 2008-01-23 at 14:25 +0000, MJ Ray wrote:
> > Whether you can redistribute it depends on how 'impose' is interpreted.
> Well, given it's only addressed to licensees, I don't see why that's an
> issue. No sensible definition of "impose" that I can think of would
> include "giving others the same terms you got yourself" - "impose" means
> a change.

I hate to do this, but here, have a dictionary:-

The need for imposing terms to mean changing terms rather than just
associating the term with the action is not at all clear to me.  As
written before, if there is better qualified opinion on interpretation
of s6, please post it.  It would be a very good additional link to the

This all seems a bit similar (but not exactly) to the GPL+NDA situations.

> > The GPL requires modifications to be under GPL (unless "this License" in
> > the GPL doesn't mean the GPL, somehow) and one can't satisfy 6, so can't
> > satisfy 2b, thanks to the extra terms.
> That still only works if you somehow can sever the different license
> terms in two. I don't buy that at all; there's a single license in place
> which happens to be two pieces of text conjoined. 

We can clearly sever the licence!  There's the GPL and then the
extras. To do otherwise would be arguing that "this License" in the
GPL doesn't mean the GPL, but the GPL and some terms which weren't
written when the GPL was.  I don't think that's tenable.

> But let's say for the sake of the argument that modifications have to be
> under the GPL. The problem there is incompatibility with GPL+bits, since
> the new code (GPL) won't allow the +bits restriction. 
> However, you can get around that by adding a linking exception to the
> new code to say it can be put together with the old. [...]

That's only feasible if all the copyright holders are willing to grant
the exception and it's rather asymmetric, allowing new code to be free
software but not really freeing the original code.  I suspect there's
some fundamental problem with this corner case that I'm too dim to
spot today.

MJ Ray http://mjr.towers.org.uk/email.html tel:+44-844-4437-237 -
Webmaster-developer, statistician, sysadmin, online shop builder,
consumer and workers co-operative member http://www.ttllp.co.uk/ -
Writing on koha, debian, sat TV, Kewstoke http://mjr.towers.org.uk/

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