For Approval: GPLv3
chris at metatrontech.com
Thu Aug 16 01:19:14 UTC 2007
Rick Moen wrote:
> My understanding is that this is not what OSD#6 concerns. OSD#6
> essentially says you cannot have OSI cerify a licence that selectively
> withholds necessary rights for left-handed Esperanto teachers, or
> members of the military, or professional clowns, etc.
Ok, the legitimate question is-- does de facto discrimination count? If
it does, then this is a violation of the definition. If not, you are right.
If de facto descrimination does not count, then it may be possible to
include restriction in a license which are designed to preclude fields
of endeavor without naming them, as I believe the GPL v3 does (with
regard to DRM-centric applications).
In short "you may not implement DRM" might not be acceptable, but if you
effectively forbid the implementation of DRM using other clauses, does
this make it OK on a technicality?
I mention DRM because I believe that it is the FSF's intended target and
WIFI firmware/voting machines are just collateral damage.
So, in the above case, where do you draw the line? I think the only
sensible line that can be drawn is to forbid de facto discrimination
against fields of endeavor whatever they are and however they are
defined. And yes, this should include WIFI card firmware and voting
machines even if this was not the intended target of the provision.
> I thus don't think "the profession of locking people out of the ability
> to run modified software on particular pieces of hardware" is among the
> sorts of fields of endeavour OSI has in mind.
Ok, but does it apply to hardware/software packages which must be
licensed as a whole from the government, such as WIFI cards and their
My largest concern is simply OSD part 6, that it creates a system which
is discriminatory against any package which must be certified on both
the hardware and software level. This includes WIFI cards and voting
machines and effectively prevents any GPL v3 code from being used in any
field where the government has a compelling interest in regulating this
component. These include products which interface with the public
airwaves and products, such as voting machines, where there is a
compelling interest on the part of one government to regulate other
governments within its jurisdiction, such as with regard to voting machines.
If the FSF had included a clause stating that "Code from covered works
can only be included in user devices interfacing with public airwaves if
that is on a ROM" then that might be a definite violation of this
definition, would it not? Yet, I do not believe there is any case where
such a clause would have made *any practical change to the license at
all.* That is why I am saying this is entirely implied.
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