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Re: MMIX license OK for main?

Bruce Perens wrote:

> He is _trying_ to be DFSG-compliant but his license is mis-worded.
> Someone should contact him.

This is Donald Knuth we're talking about -- he's not easy to contact.

I don't think the license is a problem anyhow, here's my analyis.

"This file may be freely copied and distributed, provided that no
changes whatsoever are made."

First part good, second part not good.  However:

"All users are asked to help keep the MMIXware files consistent and
``uncorrupted,'' identical everywhere in the world. Changes are
permissible only if the modified file is given a new name, different
from the names of existing files in the MMIXware package, and only if
the modified file is clearly identified as not being part of that

This makes clear that changes *are* permissible *if* the modified file
is given a new name, and presumably *if* the modified package is not
called MMIXware.  Seems okay, call it MyMMIX or whatever, change
anything you want.

"(The CWEB system has a ``change file'' facility by which users can
easily make minor alterations without modifying the master source files
in any way. Everybody is supposed to use change files instead of
changing the files.)"

In other words, the Debian method of distribution is perfectly within
the permissible scope -- we are allowed to (supposed to) distributed
pristine source, with patches.  I believe this has been ruled DFSG-free
in the past for something (Qt?).

I think MMIX is DFSG-free, despite a somewhat confusingly worded
license, though I'd like to know reasons why anyone may disagree.

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