Re: [long] Last call draft of GPL v3

2007-06-03 Thread Francesco Poli
On Sat, 2 Jun 2007 19:38:09 -0600 Wesley J. Landaker wrote:

 On Saturday 02 June 2007 19:05:16 Ben Finney wrote:
[...]
  I agree that the GPL is the best FSF license to be applied to any
  work of authorship, but the FSF don't agree -- and I believe they
  expressed this disagreement long before they started promoting other
  licenses designed for non-program works.
 
 Well, maybe that is changing ... the latest draft says in the
 Preample:
 
 The GNU General Public License is a free, copyleft license for
 software and other kinds of works.

Section 0. of the GNU GPL *v2* states, in part:


|   0. This License applies to any program or other work [...]
|  ^
| The Program, below, refers to any such program or work [...]
|  ^^^

I think even the GNU GPL *v2* was designed with the applicability to
non-program works in mind.  It was certainly designed *primarily* for
programs, but also in such a way to be applicable to any work of
authorship.

At least, that's my understanding after reading the license text so many
times...

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Re: [long] Last call draft of GPL v3

2007-06-03 Thread Wesley J. Landaker
On Sunday 03 June 2007 09:05:05 Francesco Poli wrote:
 On Sat, 2 Jun 2007 19:38:09 -0600 Wesley J. Landaker wrote:
  Well, maybe that is changing ... the latest draft says in the
  Preample:
 
  The GNU General Public License is a free, copyleft license for
  software and other kinds of works.

 Section 0. of the GNU GPL *v2* states, in part:
 |   0. This License applies to any program or other work [...]
 |  ^
 | The Program, below, refers to any such program or work [...]
 |  ^^^

 I think even the GNU GPL *v2* was designed with the applicability to
 non-program works in mind.  It was certainly designed *primarily* for
 programs, but also in such a way to be applicable to any work of
 authorship.

 At least, that's my understanding after reading the license text so many
 times...

True, but it does seem that that the [draft] GPLv3 features this a bit more 
prominently (first line in the preamble, more clear in the definitions, 
some of the non-source conveying options are less ambiguous now with 
non-program works, etc). 

Anyway, not that it particularly matters——GPLv2 in practice already works 
pretty well for almost all non-program works——it was mostly just an 
interesting observation. =)

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[long] Last call draft of GPL v3

2007-06-02 Thread Francesco Poli
Hi all,
a new Last Call Draft of the GNU GPL v3 has been published on 31 May
2007 by the FSF.
The full text of this fourth draft can be read at
http://gplv3.fsf.org/comments/gplv3-draft-4.html

My comments on the draft follow.
I will send them to the FSF public consultation system RSN (since they
are accepting comments for only 30 days, starting on 31 May).
 
The usual disclaimers: IANAL, IANADD.



 GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE
 
 Last Call Draft of Version 3, 31 May 2007
 
 THIS IS A DRAFT, NOT A PUBLISHED VERSION OF THE GNU GENERAL PUBLIC
 LICENSE.
[...]
 TERMS AND CONDITIONS
 
 0. Definitions.
[...]
 The Program refers to any
 copyrightable work licensed under this License.

 Style: Program or Work?

Since the GPL is designed to be applicable to any work of authorship
(not only computer programs), I once again suggest using a more neutral
term than the Program.  Something like the Work would avoid
misleading many many people into thinking that the GPL can only be
applied to computer programs.

[...]
 To modify a work means to copy from or adapt all or part of the
 work in a fashion requiring copyright permission, other than the
 making of an exact copy. The resulting work is called a modified
 version of the earlier work or a work based on the earlier work. A
 covered work means either the unmodified Program or a work based on
 the Program.

 Good: clear definitions

The definitions of modify, modified version, work based on another
work, and covered work are unchanged with respect to GPLv3draft3, and
they are very clear.  It's good that the definition of modified
version exploits applicable copyright law without trying to rewrite it.
 This ensures that the license does not place restrictions on activities
that do not require permission under applicable copyright law.

 
 To propagate a work means to do anything with it that, without
 permission, would make you directly or secondarily liable for
 infringement under applicable copyright law, except executing it on a
 computer or making modifications that you do not share. Propagation
 includes copying, distribution (with or without modification), making
 available to the public, and in some countries other activities as
 well. To convey a work means any kind of propagation that enables
 other parties to make or receive copies, excluding sublicensing. Mere
 interaction with a user through a computer network, with no transfer
 of a copy, is not conveying.

 Good: clear definitions

The definitions of propagate and convey seem fairly clear.
Again, their linking to copyright law ensures that the license does not
place restrictions on activities that do not require permission under
applicable copyright law.

 
 An interactive user interface displays Appropriate Legal Notices to
 the extent that it includes a convenient and prominently visible
 feature that (1) displays an appropriate copyright notice, and (2)
 tells the user that there is no warranty for the work (except to the
 extent that warranties are provided), that licensees may convey the
 work under this License, and how to view a copy of this License. If
 the interface presents a list of user commands or options, such as a
 menu, a prominent item in the list meets this criterion.

 Good: useful definition

This definition is really useful to simplify the language of clause 5d
(even though I would like to see clause 5d dropped entirely, more on
this in a later comment...).

 
 1. Source Code.

 Good: clear and appropriate

This section seems OK to me.

 
 The source code for a work means the preferred form of the work for
 making modifications to it. Object code means any non-source form
 of a work.

 Good: please keep these definitions

I like the definitions of source code and Object code as they are. 
Good to see that they were kept unaltered.

[...]
 2. Basic Permissions.
 
 All rights granted under this License are granted for the term of
 copyright on the Program, and are irrevocable provided the stated
 conditions are met. This License explicitly affirms your unlimited
 permission to run the unmodified Program. The output from running a
 covered work is covered by this License only if the output, given its
 content, constitutes a covered work. This License acknowledges your
 rights of fair use or other equivalent, as provided by copyright law.

 Good: mentioning of fair use is an improvement

Good to see that fair use and similar rights are explicitly mentioned. 
This is an improvement over GPLv2.

[...]
 3. Protecting Users' Legal Rights From Anti-Circumvention Law.
 
 No covered work shall be deemed part of an effective technological
 measure under any applicable law fulfilling obligations under article
 11 of the WIPO copyright treaty adopted on 20 December 1996, or
 similar laws prohibiting or restricting circumvention of such
 measures.

 Problematic: possibly untrue

This clause is unchanged with respect to GPLv3draft3, and thus still
problematic.  It could 

Re: [long] Last call draft of GPL v3

2007-06-02 Thread Joe Smith


Francesco Poli [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote in message 
news:[EMAIL PROTECTED]



Hi all,
a new Last Call Draft of the GNU GPL v3 has been published on 31 May
2007 by the FSF.
The full text of this fourth draft can be read at
http://gplv3.fsf.org/comments/gplv3-draft-4.html

My comments on the draft follow.
I will send them to the FSF public consultation system RSN (since they
are accepting comments for only 30 days, starting on 31 May).

The usual disclaimers: IANAL, IANADD.


[snip]




 Bad: too restrictive

Clause 5d is now simpler and clearer than in the previous drafts: as a
consequences, its issues are more apparent!  ;-)

This clause is worse than the corresponding clause 2c in GPLv2... :-(

[snip]

I would like to see clause 5d dropped entirely.

Or, at least, it could be modified so that it only applies to cases
where the original Program is also interactive.
Something like:

| d) If the Program has interactive user interfaces which display
| Appropriate Legal Notices, this feature must be preserved in each
| interactive interface that is also present in the work.




It is one thing to require preservation of the Appropriate legal notices 
feature in existing interactive user interfaces.
It is entirely different to compel users to include such a feature in any 
newly created interactive interfaces. This is far worse than the equivalent 
clause in GPL v2. People WILL ignore this requirement, and assume it merely 
mandates preservation of the feature in existing interfaces. This is a 
*critical* problem with the license IMHO.


Further there is no exception for interactive user interfaces where it is 
*impossible* to
meet the definition of displays 'Appropriate Legal Notices'. Cases like an 
audio-only
interactive interface could not possibly include a convenient and 
prominently *visible* feature,
and might not be able to tell the user [..] how to view a copy of this 
License. It might not be
possible to tell the user how to view the licence. Especially if the device 
has no means of visual output,
in which case there is no way to view the licence. The program could 
perhaps give instructions
on how to request to have the licence read to them, but that is not what is 
required.



 Kills copyleft: are these the cousins of GFDL's Invariant Sections?

What exactly is a reasonable legal notice?  What exactly is an author
attribution?  It seems that these terms are not defined anywhere in the
license.  I'm concerned that they could be interpreted in a broad sense
and allow people to take a GPLv3'd work and add some sort of invariant
long text that nobody will ever be able to remove or modify...  This
option could make a work include unmodifiable  unremovable parts and
thus fail to fully grant the freedom to modify.  I would rather avoid
introducing such options in the GPLv3!

=== this option could make the work fail DFSG#3, when exercised


Hmm... reasonable legal notice will at least include a copyright statement.
Some further guidence could be useful. Can a mandate to include an entire
licence (talking abiout one of the short licences, like BSD, Expat, etc. 
[obviously a modified version of the licence,

with a mandate to include the licence text in the Appropriate Legal
Notice]) be considered a resonable notice? It almost seems reasonable,
but on the other hand it is somewhat long, which may be unreasonable, 
especially in certain
types of interactive interfaces. 




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Re: [long] Last call draft of GPL v3

2007-06-02 Thread Ben Finney
Thanks again, Francesco, for a thorough coverage of this latest GPLv3
draft.

Francesco Poli [EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:

 Since the GPL is designed to be applicable to any work of authorship
 (not only computer programs), I once again suggest using a more
 neutral term than the Program.  Something like the Work would
 avoid misleading many many people into thinking that the GPL can
 only be applied to computer programs.

My understanding of FSF's position for many years is that the GPL was
designed only for computer programs. They agree that it *can* be
applied to non-program works of authorship, and that the result is
free software, but I think it's untrue to say it was *designed* to be
applicable that way.

I agree that the GPL is the best FSF license to be applied to any work
of authorship, but the FSF don't agree -- and I believe they expressed
this disagreement long before they started promoting other licenses
designed for non-program works.

If you wish to express this argument, I think you'll need to base it
on something other than the GPL is designed to be applicable to any
work of authorship.

-- 
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_o__)  |
Ben Finney


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Re: [long] Last call draft of GPL v3

2007-06-02 Thread Wesley J. Landaker
On Saturday 02 June 2007 19:05:16 Ben Finney wrote:
 Francesco Poli [EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:
  Since the GPL is designed to be applicable to any work of authorship
  (not only computer programs), I once again suggest using a more
  neutral term than the Program.  Something like the Work would
  avoid misleading many many people into thinking that the GPL can
  only be applied to computer programs.

[...]
 I agree that the GPL is the best FSF license to be applied to any work
 of authorship, but the FSF don't agree -- and I believe they expressed
 this disagreement long before they started promoting other licenses
 designed for non-program works.

Well, maybe that is changing ... the latest draft says in the Preample:

The GNU General Public License is a free, copyleft license for
software and other kinds of works.

And, the license is is *very* generic in it's definitions of Program 
and Source, but still, they used the works Program and Source. And 
they apparently believe that documentation is not part of other kinds of 
works, hence the GFDL[1].

[1] Which IMO is mostly benign, but still pointless.

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