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Re: need comments on a copyright clause.

On Thu, 20 Nov 1997, Fabrizio Polacco wrote:

> I previously stated that Sleepycat's db2 license is now DFSG compliant.
> But now I'm not so sure, therefore I need help (I don't want to modify a
> program to directly use the new API if the library isn't DFSG; I've been
> hurted once and I've learned the lesson).
> In fact Sleepycat says that db2 is free for non-commercial use, because:
> > the license for DB 2.0, when downloaded from the net, requires that
> > the software that uses DB 2.0 be freely redistributable.
> The clause exactly states:
> > 3. Redistributions in any form must be accompanied by information on
> >    how to obtain complete source code for the DB software and any
> >    accompanying software that uses the DB software.  The source code
> >    must either be included in the distribution or be available for no
> >    more than the cost of distribution plus a nominal fee, and must be
> >    freely redistributable under reasonable conditions.  For an
> >    executable file, complete source code means the source code for all
> >    modules it contains.  It does not mean source code for modules or
> >    files that typically accompany the operating system on which the
> >    executable file runs, e.g., standard library modules or system
> >    header files.
> That is to say that "the sources code of any accompanying software that
> uses the DB software must be freely redistributable under reasonable
> conditions".
> This seems to me to fail #9 of DFSG:
> > 9.License Must Not Contaminate Other Software
> > 
> >   The license must not place restrictions on other software that is
> >   distributed along with the licensed software. For example, the
> >   license must not insist that all other programs distributed on the
> >   same medium must be free software.
> It insist that executables linked with the library must be free
> software.

This is not contamination. This is just what the GPL insists. If you use
GPL software to create (link to) new software, that software must be GPL.
The non-contamination clause simply says that this library can not require
that all other software distributed with it be free. The license in
question does not seem to require this, so I would say that it qualifies
as DFSG compliant, at least on this point.

> Also the use of GPL on a library have the same effect.
> Does this mean that the use of GPL on a library instead of LGPL is not
> DFSG compliant beacuse of #9 ?
> #10 explicitly mention GPL as ok (for everything?) and doesn't mention
> LGPL at all.
The GPL does not require that all software shipped with it be GPL. This
is, in fact, one of the "freedoms" provided.


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aka   Dale Scheetz                   Phone:   1 (904) 656-9769
      Flexible Software              11000 McCrackin Road
      e-mail:  dwarf@polaris.net     Tallahassee, FL  32308

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