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Re: Floodgap Free Software License

John Nemeth <> writes:

>      The FSF has a restricted definition of what's acceptable, OSI
> would include everything that the FSF does and much more.

Could you provide some actual data?  I am not aware of anything that the
OSI has approved that the FSF has declared non-Free.  All the license
nerds I know would expect such a case to be extremely rare

> } decision by board@ to exclude AGPL from DEFAULT_ACCEPTABLE_LICENSES.)
> } See mk/
> } 
> } So far the only real problem with this approach has been boutique
> } licenses that are more or less free, or perhaps entirely, but which
> } haven't been evaluated.
> } 
> } In the case of this license, we'd have to set NO_*_ON_CDROM, so it's
> } clearly not ok for default.
>      Why?  I'm pretty sure a CDROM full of FLOSS would fall under
> the following as the product is the CDROM, not the package in question:
>           + If you are selling a product that includes this package or a
>             derivative work either as part of your product's requirements
>             for function or as a bundled extra, such as an operating
>             system distribution, you may charge a fee for your product as
>             long as you also make this package or said derivative work
>             available for free separately (such as by download or link
>             back to this package's site), as you are considered to be
>             requesting a fee for your own product and the package is
>             merely included as a convenience to your users.

Well, that wasn't in what was posted.  And it's not clear that it covers
"The cd costs $20 and contains 5000 free software programs" with no
attached product, which is what NO_*_ON_CDROM is about.  (I'm not sure
anybody does that any more anyway.)

This is a funky, one-off license, and I don't see any real reason to try
hard to put it in DEFAULT_ACCEPTABLE.  The point is not to judge things
as bad, but to ensure what for a very large class of users who want to
be aware of installing anything that is beyond Open Source/Free, they
are not surprised.

I have been wondering about adding Debian and the DFSG as an alternative
approving body.

Part of the point is to keep TNF out of the business of blessing
licenses as adequate.  We do bend the rules for licenses that would
blindingly obviously be approved.  I'm uncomfortable with that precedent
in general, although not with specific cases that seem equivalent to the
MIT license with slightly different words and phrasing.

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