On Sat, 10 Mar 2018 at 14:00:27 +0100, Javier Serrano Polo wrote:
> El ds 10 de 03 de 2018 a les 05:38 +0800, James 'Ender' Brown va
> escriure:
> >  I'm not really sure what outcome you are looking for here...

I think this is an important question to ask yourself before proceeding.

The copyright holders of BaSS (and a couple of other related games)
have given us a gift: their games, under what are (in the context of
full-sized, professionally produced games that were previously sold)
remarkably generous terms. If what you are trying to achieve is that you
somehow persuade them that those terms are not good enough and coerce them
into relicensing under terms that are *more* generous, this doesn't seem
particularly likely to succeed, and is unlikely to make those people
kindly disposed towards you - particularly when the change you seem
to be looking for would only be of benefit to people who want to sell
the game on its own (as opposed to as part of something like Debian),
which is something that the copyright holders specifically didn't want!

(Alternatively, if what you are trying to achieve is to stir up trouble,
congratulations, you have done so, now please stop.)

> DFSG #6 warrants use in any field of endeavor. The outcome is either
> software can be sold, both modified and unmodified, or it is non-free.

The DFSG specifically calls out the Artistic License as an example
of a DFSG-compliant license. The Artistic License has a very similar
clause saying that the licensed software can be sold as part of a larger
software distribution, but not alone, and DFSG #1 (free redistribution)
specifically says this is OK (and was written the way it is to include
the Artistic License).

This is more restrictive than many Free Software licenses, and it's on
the border line of what the DFSG allows, but the DFSG does allow it.

DFSG #6 (field of endeavour) is about use, not distribution. For some
historical context, the motivating case was a piece of software whose
license didn't allow it to be used by a particular government - I think it
might have been the South African government, because that software was
released during their apartheid policy, to which the software's author
had moral objections. Unfortunately, years later, when apartheid was a
thing of the past, the license remained the same, and the South African
government was still not allowed to use that piece of software (now for
no good reason). The authors of the DFSG considered this situation to
be a trap that needed to be avoided in future.

> > This is the same sort of exception already implemented in other
> > DFSG-approved licenses,
> They suffer from the same problem; Artistic License 1.0 is not
> DFSG-compliant.

This is absolutely not true.

    10. Example Licenses
    The "GPL", "BSD", and "Artistic" licenses are examples of
    licenses that we consider "free".
    — https://www.debian.org/social_contract#guidelines

(The DFSG were written in 1997, at which time the Artistic License
version 1.0 was the only one in existence.)

As I said above, the Artistic License is on the border line of what we
will accept under the DFSG, but it's accepted.

> These are incompatible, limiting individual resale breaks the "fields of
> endeavor" clause.

No, it doesn't. If the "fields of endeavor" clause was that broad and
general (and had that effect on redistribution), then it wouldn't allow
copyleft licenses like the GNU GPL, which doesn't allow redistribution
in the context of the field of endeavor "producing proprietary software".

> Anyway, Debian can ship games under the non-free
> component.

Are you trying to take a game whose copyright holder generously placed
it under a Free Software license, and arrange for it to be removed from
Debian (the contrib and non-free components are not part of Debian)
because you consider that license to be insufficiently Free?

This would seem to me like an "everyone loses" situation...

> Debian accepts your license because section 3 is ineffective by using
> tricks.

No "trick" is required to make the BaSS license DFSG-compliant, because
the relevant part is very similar to the Artistic License, which is one of
the licenses that the authors of the DFSG had in mind when they wrote it.
The DFSG even says so! (Clause 10.)

Debian requires licenses to allow commercial redistribution (sale) of
Debian and aggregate software distributions like it. It specifically
does not require licenses that allow individual packages to be taken
out of Debian and sold separately.

It is true that there is a well-known "trick" that makes the Artistic
License and the BaSS license weaker than they might have been intended
to be (sell an aggregate software distribution containing BaSS and an
implementation of "hello world"), but if a reseller uses this trick, it
would make their resale look fairly obviously shady - they can't label the
result as Beneath a Steel Sky without losing their ability to use that
trick. Also, intent matters in interpreting licensing, and if this ever
went to court, it seems fairly plausible that a court would decide that
this trick is stupid and the redistribution was copyright infringement.


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