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Re: [Fsfe-uk] Re: Freedom to take freedom

From: Alex Hudson
Subject: Re: [Fsfe-uk] Re: Freedom to take freedom
Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2008 17:47:51 +0000

On Tue, 2008-01-22 at 17:08 +0000, MJ Ray wrote:
> I think this is about
> http://svn.debian.org/wsvn/pkg-fonts/packages/ttf-liberation/trunk/debian/copyright?op=file&rev=0&sc=0
> As I understand it, that is a licence which says, essentially:-
> - you may distribute this only if you do not add restrictions that
> are not in GPLv2 (GPLv2 s6); and
> - you may distribute this only if you add some restriction which
> is not in GPLv2 (addition s1b - the description as an "exception" is
> clearly incorrect IMO).
> There is no way to satisfy both GPLv2 and the addition, so there is no
> permission to distribute.

I don't think it can be read that way. The GPLv2 only talks about
'further restrictions' - it doesn't say that the license you get from
the licensor is the GPL and only the GPL; it's not, it's the license
that the author put on the work (which is GPL+bits). It's also not the
licensee ('You') adding the further restriction - and unless you modify
the thing, you don't have the right to do that in any event because you
have no copyright standing.

The added clauses by the licensor are not severable from the rest of the
license - although "GPL + bits" is a fine way to describe the license,
it's a single set of terms and conditions. It's not "distribute via GPL,
but then tack on these extra bits every time", it's "distribute via GPL



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