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From Don Armstrong <>
Subject Re: DFSG-freeness of Apache Software Licenses
Date Fri, 14 Nov 2003 03:57:14 GMT
On Thu, 13 Nov 2003, Glenn Maynard wrote:
> On Thu, Nov 13, 2003 at 05:39:18PM -0800, Don Armstrong wrote:
>> A clause that enables the license to a piece of IP in a piece of Free
>> Software to be revokable is a useage restriction, and as such, not
>> DSFG Free.[1] [It fails DFSG #5 and #6.]
> Assuming you mean "revokable under some condition" (not just
> "revokable at whim", which is obviously non-free), wouldn't this
> include GPL #4?
> I'm not suggesting that the GPL is non-free, or that the proposed
> clause in question is free; just that this statement seems overly
> broad.

You're correct; it is badly worded (and upon reflection doesn't mean
exactly what I intented it to.)

To clarify: GPL #4 in itself isn't a useage restriction because the
GPL doesn't concern itself with useage at all, only copying,
modifying, and distributing.

What I was attempting to verbalize (rather badly) is that software
licenses should never restrict useage. Furthermore, they should only
restrict modification, copying, and distribution when it serves a
clear and present goal of improving the freedom of software itself.

Don Armstrong

Any excuse will serve a tyrant.
 -- Aesop

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