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Re: Copyright question (BSD with advertisement clause)

Le Wed, Feb 06, 2008 at 04:30:01PM +0100, Jean Parpaillon a écrit :
>  3. All  advertising  materials  mentioning  features  or  use of this
>  software must display the following acknowledgement:                
>  This  product  includes  software  developed  at  the  University  of
>  Tennessee, Knoxville, Innovative Computing Laboratories.            

Bonjour Jean,

This is the "advertisement clause" of the original BSD licence. Some
works in main are or were distributed under this clause, so it is
considered DFSG-Free.

However, distributors of Debian can easily infringe this clause: for
instance, if an hypothetical magazine, "Clusterised Linux" would sell an
issue with a DVD of Debian Lenny and advertise it with a slogan such as
"Debian Lenny: faster with upgraded kernel and HPL memory distribution",
the university of Tenessee could obviously claim that the licence has
not been respected because their name has not been cited.

This example is maybe a bit artificial, but the point is that with such
licences in main, redistributors who use advertisement should in theory
read all the copyright files to check who to acknowledge. For this
reason, I wouldn't recommend to include this program in main.

But there is a much better solution. The problem has been well explained
on FSF's website: http://www.gnu.org//philosophy/bsd.html and
importantly, the university of Berkeley from which this licence
originates has now abandonned the advertisement clause. This is a strong
argument, and with it I was able to obtain the relicencing of a
4-clause-BSD-licenced program by the Whitehead Institute. I think that
you have your chances with the university of Tenessee.

Have a nice day,

Charles Plessy
Debian-Med packaging team.
Wakō, Saitama, Japan

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