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Re: scientific license - fedora compatible?



On 5/23/06, Jonathan Underwood <jonathan underwood gmail com> wrote:
The program is distributed under a license which permits copying and
modification of the source code. However, modified versions are only
allowed to be distributed as patch files: as such, the gnuplot licence
is not compatible with the GPL, and is not free software (according to
FSF, DFSG, and OSI).

Your assessment as to the acceptability of 'patch distribution'
restrictions is absolutely incorrect with regard to the DFSG and OSI.
If you have authoritative references which you are relying on to back
up your assessment, cite them. While this term is most certainly not
GPL-compatible, its most certainly DFSG and OSI compatible according
to the available DFSG and OSI definition of opensource.  Stop trying
to equate 'free software' with 'open source software' as you have done
in your last sentence above.

<quote http://www.debian.org/social_contract>
Section: The Debian Free Software Guidelines (DFSG)
....
4. Integrity of The Author's Source Code

The license may restrict source-code from being distributed in
modified form _only_ if the license allows the distribution of "patch
files" with the source code for the purpose of modifying the program
at build time. The license must explicitly permit distribution of
software built from modified source code. The license may require
derived works to carry a different name or version number from the
original software. (This is a compromise. The Debian group encourages
all authors not to restrict any files, source or binary, from being
modified.)
</quote>


<quote http://www.opensource.org/docs/definition.php>
Section: The Open Source Definition
....
4. Integrity of The Author's Source Code

The license may restrict source-code from being distributed in
modified form only if the license allows the distribution of "patch
files" with the source code for the purpose of modifying the program
at build time. The license must explicitly permit distribution of
software built from modified source code. The license may require
derived works to carry a different name or version number from the
original software.

   Rationale: Encouraging lots of improvement is a good thing, but
users have a right to know who is responsible for the software they
are using. Authors and maintainers have reciprocal right to know what
they're being asked to support and protect their reputations.

   Accordingly, an open-source license must guarantee that source be
readily available, but may require that it be distributed as pristine
base sources plus patches. In this way, "unofficial" changes can be
made available but readily distinguished from the base source.
</quote>

The patch distribution issue is a NON-ISSUE. The most problematic
issue with the licensing that started this thread is restrictions on
use, 'academic-only' or 'non-commercial' terms are highly restrictive,
and make licensing audits a real pain in the ass for those of us who
have to deal with it. God forbid such packages showed up as deps for
other packages in Extras.  If there is a way forward for these sort of
restricted use, but modifiable codebases, it will take the form of a
dedicated repository downstream of Core and Extras.

-jef"killing pointless masturbatory legal arguments one credible
citation reference at a time"spaleta


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