Re: discussion with the FSF: GPLv3, GFDL, Nexenta - Debian

This is a discussion on Re: discussion with the FSF: GPLv3, GFDL, Nexenta - Debian ; On Mon, Jun 04, 2007 at 12:25:41AM -0700, Walter Landry wrote: Non-developer, non-maintainer, non-applicant: Check. > Anthony Towns wrote: > > For a choice of venue clause though, it only stops some people from > > being willing to participate; ...

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Thread: Re: discussion with the FSF: GPLv3, GFDL, Nexenta

  1. Re: discussion with the FSF: GPLv3, GFDL, Nexenta

    On Mon, Jun 04, 2007 at 12:25:41AM -0700, Walter Landry wrote:

    Non-developer, non-maintainer, non-applicant: Check.

    > Anthony Towns wrote:
    > > For a choice of venue clause though, it only stops some people from
    > > being willing to participate; just as potentially giving up patent rights
    > > stops Microsoft from being willing to distribute Linux.

    > The requirement to pet a cat, even if it is only required if
    > convenient, also only stops some people from being willing to
    > participate. It has also been considered non-free since the beginning
    > of Debian.


    Condescending dismissal of arguments: Check.

    Is it really not obvious why -legal isn't taken very seriously sometimes?

    I don't consider "the venue for deciding conflicts is chosen in advance"
    as remotely equivalent to "you must pet a cat". An analogy I would accept
    is something of the form "you don't get to exercise your right/ability
    to ____" where "____" is an action, not the lack of an action. "enforce
    your patents against other users of this software" would be one example,
    "distribute compiled code without source code" would be another.

    If you're claiming "you don't get to exercise your right to argue
    about jurisdiction" is equivalent to "you must pet a cat", then, IMO,
    you need to argue the same thing about "you don't get to exercise your
    patent rights".

    Cheers,
    aj


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  2. Re: discussion with the FSF: GPLv3, GFDL, Nexenta

    On Mon, Jun 04, 2007 at 06:49:54PM +1000, Anthony Towns wrote:
    > If you're claiming "you don't get to exercise your right to argue
    > about jurisdiction" is equivalent to "you must pet a cat", then, IMO,
    > you need to argue the same thing about "you don't get to exercise your
    > patent rights".


    You're aware that most of the people arguing that choice of venue clauses
    are non-free also hold the opinion that patent non-enforcement as a
    condition of the copyright license is also non-free?

    --
    Steve Langasek Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
    Debian Developer to set it on, and I can move the world.
    vorlon@debian.org http://www.debian.org/


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  3. Re: discussion with the FSF: GPLv3, GFDL, Nexenta

    On Mon, Jun 04, 2007 at 02:42:24AM -0700, Steve Langasek wrote:
    > On Mon, Jun 04, 2007 at 06:49:54PM +1000, Anthony Towns wrote:
    > > If you're claiming "you don't get to exercise your right to argue
    > > about jurisdiction" is equivalent to "you must pet a cat", then, IMO,
    > > you need to argue the same thing about "you don't get to exercise your
    > > patent rights".

    > You're aware that most of the people arguing that choice of venue clauses
    > are non-free also hold the opinion that patent non-enforcement as a
    > condition of the copyright license is also non-free?


    No, not at all. It's been years since I've followed -legal, and I
    certainly don't keep track of who thinks what. I fundamentally don't
    think it *matters* what individual subscribers to -legal think.

    What I care about is having a reasonable, widely understood definition
    of free software that meshes with the rest of the free software and open
    source community, that Debian can use to work out what software we'll
    distribute in main.

    I don't think it's remotely obvious that the DFSG rules out all patent
    non-enforcement clauses, I'm pretty sure it's not remotely obvious that
    the DFSG rules out choice of venue clauses, and so far I haven't seen any
    real reason why Debian needs to rule out those clauses. I can _certainly_
    see why those sort of things might be more of a drawback than a benefit
    and we might want to discourage their use, but we can say "bad" in ways
    other than "non-free".

    Cheers,
    aj, who suspects he's against patent non-enforcement clauses in the past


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  4. Re: discussion with the FSF: GPLv3, GFDL, Nexenta

    On Mon, Jun 04, 2007 at 08:01:24PM +1000, Anthony Towns wrote:
    > On Mon, Jun 04, 2007 at 02:42:24AM -0700, Steve Langasek wrote:
    > > On Mon, Jun 04, 2007 at 06:49:54PM +1000, Anthony Towns wrote:
    > > > If you're claiming "you don't get to exercise your right to argue
    > > > about jurisdiction" is equivalent to "you must pet a cat", then, IMO,
    > > > you need to argue the same thing about "you don't get to exercise your
    > > > patent rights".

    > > You're aware that most of the people arguing that choice of venue clauses
    > > are non-free also hold the opinion that patent non-enforcement as a
    > > condition of the copyright license is also non-free?


    > No, not at all. It's been years since I've followed -legal, and I
    > certainly don't keep track of who thinks what. I fundamentally don't
    > think it *matters* what individual subscribers to -legal think.


    I'm just saying that "you need to argue the same thing" isn't much of a
    barrier, since AFAIK the people arguing against choice-of-venue clauses on
    this theory have already done so in the past and are likely to do so again
    if given cause

    > What I care about is having a reasonable, widely understood definition
    > of free software that meshes with the rest of the free software and open
    > source community, that Debian can use to work out what software we'll
    > distribute in main.


    That's a good goal; but Debian has disagreed with other folks in the past
    because we believed their interpretations were irrational and contrary to
    the long-term interests of Free Software, and it's my own opinion that
    various folks in the wider community are in this position today, so I hope
    that such meshing is the result of a sustained dialogue and not just Debian
    giving in to whatever the folks with the cool technology of the day that
    everyone wants to use have are peddling as a license.

    --
    Steve Langasek Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
    Debian Developer to set it on, and I can move the world.
    vorlon@debian.org http://www.debian.org/


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  5. Re: discussion with the FSF: GPLv3, GFDL, Nexenta

    On Mon, Jun 04, 2007 at 04:07:30AM -0700, Steve Langasek wrote:
    > > What I care about is having a reasonable, widely understood definition
    > > of free software that meshes with the rest of the free software and open
    > > source community, that Debian can use to work out what software we'll
    > > distribute in main.

    > That's a good goal; but


    Heh. Now there's a compressible phrase.

    ("meshes" does not mean "matches" or "includes". When I joined we were
    more permissive than both the BSD and GNU camps (GNU complained about
    the BSD license, BSD complained about the GPL, we didn't mind either),
    but we've never done that blindly, as the KDE, Affero or GFDL stuff
    should attest. I don't see why you'd expect us to start now)

    > Debian has disagreed with other folks in the past
    > because we believed their interpretations were irrational and contrary to
    > the long-term interests of Free Software, [...]


    I don't think you'd have to look very hard to find people who consider
    debian-legal's intepretations of various things to be irrational and
    contrary to the long-term interests of Free Software.

    Unfortunately trying to have a discussion between those viewpoints to
    resolve (or at least clarify) the differences isn't often successful. I've
    already listed some of the ways I think -legal regulars could change that
    situation, if they're interested. But I guess ultimately, along with
    James, Ryan, Joerg and Jeroen, I'm one of fairly few people who really
    don't have much cause for concern whether -legal becomes a really useful
    discussion area or not.

    Cheers,
    aj


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  6. Re: discussion with the FSF: GPLv3, GFDL, Nexenta

    On Mon, 4 Jun 2007 20:01:24 +1000 Anthony Towns wrote:

    [...]
    > What I care about is having a reasonable, widely understood definition
    > of free software that meshes with the rest of the free software and
    > open source community, that Debian can use to work out what software
    > we'll distribute in main.


    Then, I think you have to start by reconciling the open source community
    with the free software community: OSI and FSF already have a
    non-negligibly different set of accepted licenses.


    *Red Warning*

    This message is from a non-DD, non-maintainer and non-applicant.
    As a consequence, everything I say has to be checked and double-checked.
    Debian developers, instead, know the truth by definition and never say
    anything wrong: hence, no need to check what a DD says.


    Seriously, could you please stop this discrimination against non-DDs?
    I think Debian users should have the right to express their opinions and
    arguments on Debian lists: whatever they say should be considered for
    its merits, just like it should be done for Debian developers.
    It's not that users are second-class citizens or Harijans: after all the
    Debian Social Contract is a promise made by Debian developers to the
    Free Software Community (which, IMO, includes free software users).



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