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Re: bzflag license

Ben Pfaff wrote:
> "Juergen A. Erhard" <jae@jae.ddns.org> writes:
>    There's a clause you seem to have overlooked, that I think makes it
>    non-free (sorry):
>      3. A reasonable fee may be charged to copy this software.  Any fee
> 	may be charged to support this software.  This software may be
> 	distributed as part of a larger (possibly commercial) software
> 	distribution provided that no claim of ownership of this software
> 	is made.  However, no fee may be charged for the software itself.
> Looks like a clause from the Artistic License, which has been judged
> DFSG-free in the past:
[AL clause 5 snipped]

Indeed, but the Artistic License also contains a definition, which
is critical:

        "Reasonable copying fee" is whatever you can justify on the
        basis of media cost, duplication charges, time of people involved,
        and so on.  (You will not be required to justify it to the
        Copyright Holder, but only to the computing community at large
        as a market that must bear the fee.)

The sentence in parentheses makes clause 5 meaningless.

The bzflag license, on the other hand, really means it -- only a
"reasonable fee" may be charged, which means that CD manufactures
will have to worry about what the author's idea of "reasonable" is.

I think the bzflag license is non-free for another reason, actually:

2. Modified object or executable code must be accompanied by the
   modified source code and/or documentation clearly stating the
   modifications.  Modified executables must be renamed to not
   conflict with the standard names.

The last sentence means that we cannot make bugfixes that remain
command-line compatible with the upstream version.

Richard Braakman

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