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Re: License advice

On Mon, Apr 27, 1998 at 11:34:00AM +0200, Kai Henningsen wrote:
> Marcus.Brinkmann@ruhr-uni-bochum.de (Marcus Brinkmann)  wrote on 23.04.98 in <19980423172547.57216@flora>:
> > On Thu, Apr 23, 1998 at 09:53:54AM +0200, jdassen@wi.leidenuniv.nl wrote:
> > > As far as I can tell this license is DFSG-free; please let me know if you
> > > disagree.
> >
> > This is weird, especially because of point 3.
> I can see nothing weird there.

I don't remember, you are late...
> > He means the right thing, but
> > he doesn't mention modification, redistribution of modificated versions and
> > selling.
> Huh?! First, not mentioning selling is *good*. Second, he does mention all  
> the other stuff - to alter == to modify.

Don't spread misinformation, please. Did we read the same license?

I quote it her for you:
Copyright (c) 1997-1998 by Armin Biere.

Author: Armin Biere.

Permission is granted to anyone to use this software for any
purpose on any computer system, and to redistribute it freely,
subject to the following restrictions:

1. The author is not responsible for the consequences of use of
   this software, no matter how awful, even if they arise
   from defects in it.

2. The origin of this software must not be misrepresented, either
   by explicit claim or by omission.

3. Altered versions must be plainly marked as such, and must not
   be misrepresented as being the original software.

4. This notice may not be removed or altered.

Armin Biere
Thu Mar  5 16:48:52 EST 1998

And now my comments:
1) He does not mention that selling is allowed. So you are not allowed to
sell it.
2) He does not mention that you are allowed to redistribute the software
after altering and marking as in 3, so you are not allowed to redistribute
altered version.

> > Please point him kindly to Debian, the dfsg and to a more explicit
> > license we require to put it in main. This would mean, that you point him to
> > Artistic License, GPL, Xfree's and so on.
> Don't.

Kai, please think before you post. We both know that the author wants the
right thing, but the license is poorly worded and does not tell the right
thing to the court.

It is better to educate authors who use broken licenses, because they will
be happier, too, if they know what is wrong about their license.

It is hard to express the right thing in legalese. The license above clearly
does not say what the author wants to say. You are reading it in the way the
author probably meant it, however, this is insufficient for the Debian
distribution. We have to interprete the license the way it is written.


"Rhubarb is no Egyptian god."        Debian GNU/Linux        finger brinkmd@ 
Marcus Brinkmann                   http://www.debian.org    master.debian.org
Marcus.Brinkmann@ruhr-uni-bochum.de                        for public  PGP Key
http://homepage.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/Marcus.Brinkmann/       PGP Key ID 36E7CD09

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