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License is not DFSG-complaint #131

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lamby opened this Issue Mar 14, 2018 · 8 comments

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@lamby

lamby commented Mar 14, 2018

Hi,

Unfortunately, due to the following clause:

     (e) Any Derivative Works may not be configured to use the default server
         provided by the Copyright holders. You must configure all Derivative
         Works to use servers owned by You, or servers You are otherwise
         authorized to use.

... typetandem is not in compliance with (at least) the Debian Free Software Guidelines. It would also not be compliant with the FSF's Four Freedoms.

This is a shame as typetandem is genuinely cool but Debian (and others) simply cannot distribute it. :(

@anarcat

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anarcat commented Mar 14, 2018

To expand on @lamby's comments: Debian cannot redistribute this also because a Debian package would constitute "Derivative Works" which means we would have to setup our own debian-specific relay server to comply with the license. It also breaks clause 6 of the DFSG:

No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor

The license must not restrict anyone from making use of the program in a specific field of endeavor. For example, it may not restrict the program from being used in a business, or from being used for genetic research.

... and FSF's freedom 0:

The freedom to run the program as you wish, for any purpose (freedom 0).

I understand the concern, however, of hosting a public service like this. Another package I maintain is magic-wormhole which has a similar relay server for crippled hosts behind NAT connections. We agreed with the author to make a patch to point to our DNS which is just an alias to the original for now, but would allow us to host our own service if the original goes down or becomes overloaded by Debian users.

We care about our users and our upstreams: we wouldn't want anything bad happen to upstream because of something our users do and vice versa. Such a clause is therefore not necessary for us nor for you, in the context of Debian packaging.

It might help if you would clarify why that clause is there in the first place...

@lamby

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lamby commented Mar 14, 2018

We would have to setup our own debian-specific relay server to comply with the license

The important point is that the clause is not DFSG # 6 and FSF Freedom Zero, not the specifics of custom servers (I fear this might be a distraction).

@jfrederickson

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jfrederickson commented Mar 15, 2018

Note that it would be perfectly valid to state in the ToS for your official servers that you may only use unmodified copies of the software with the official servers. This would ensure that the license is GPL-compatible while still restricting the use of modified versions with the official servers - so long as the software license itself doesn't have the restriction, it should be fine as far as the GPL/DFSG/etc. are concerned.

@lamby

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lamby commented Mar 15, 2018

(This is not a GPL-compatibility issue, it is a fundamental free/open source issue..)

@anarcat

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anarcat commented Mar 15, 2018

I wouldn't mind if the servers had terms of service that would forbid derivatives: that's up to whoever is running the service.

The terms of service are a better place to put such policy than the license file, as the latter restricts adoption of the protocol, rather than access to the server, which I understand would be the primary concern behind the additional clause.

@geoffxy

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geoffxy commented Mar 15, 2018

Hey everyone - thanks for bringing this up!

As many of you have already deduced, the reason we added the extra clause was because we were concerned about supporting the loads of modified clients on our rendezvous server. We want to provide a good user experience for everyone using Tandem, and it would be difficult to do that by supporting modified clients. The spirit of the license was not to stifle the development or distribution of Tandem.

With that said, we’ve heard your feedback and agree that this kind of stipulation is better suited for a terms of service on the server we host. So we’ll be switching to the unmodified Apache 2.0 license and adding a terms of service to request users of modified versions of Tandem to use their own hosted server.

@lamby

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lamby commented Mar 15, 2018

Awesome, thank you for this @geoffxy :)

@rageandqq

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rageandqq commented Mar 15, 2018

Hey @lamby , we updated our License in this mono repo, as well as in our vim, nvim and sublime release repositories, so I'll close this issue out for now.

Thanks again for your interest in Tandem!

@rageandqq rageandqq closed this Mar 15, 2018

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