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Re: FreeVeracity shipment.


"For those who came in late", the licence is at:

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   Password: helmet

>* The sentence `You also indicate your acceptance by retaining the
>Module on your computer for more than one day.' may have strange
>interactions with the download of (eg.) a precompiled binary package
>from debian.org/.../non-free/ - the downloader may get a large bunch
>of software, and may not physically have the time to carefully read
>all the licences - if he only reads the licence 2 days later, even
>before ever thinking of running the program, does this mean he has
>implicitely accepted a licence he did not read ?

The licence needs a trigger condition because it has to be framed as
a contract in order to impose the platform restriction on execution
(which is needed to cover translations into portable languages such
as Java). I agree that the trigger may pose a problem for you and I will
check it out with my lawyer again. Do you have any ideas on how to fix this?

The clause is an attempt to be "click-wrap" without having to define
"click" in a way that's going to impose messy conditions on distribution
mechanism, such as requiring people to click on licences as they unpack.
I was trying to avoid problems with this clause, but it looks as if I've
created one.

Maybe I could make it trigger the moment you first use/compile/interact
with the software.

>* distribution of binaries compiled from the sources is not
>explicitely allowed, and thus, under copyright law, are most probably
>not allowed except for a separate permission.

Well, it would be nice if it was more explicit, but I think the
following two clauses cover this clearly enough:

   1.4 MODULE: A component of a computer program, and the unit
   of licensing under this Licence. A module's source code
   consists of a single source file, or a small cluster of very
   closely related source files (e.g. in C, module.h and
   module.c). "The Module" means the module that is the subject
   of this licence, and a "work based on the Module" means
   either the Module or any derivative work under copyright
   law: that is to say, a work containing the Module or a
   portion of it, either verbatim or with modifications and/or
   translated into another language. Hereinafter, translation
   is included without limitation in the term "modification".

   5.1 GRANT OF MODIFICATION: You may modify your copy or
   copies of the Module or any portion of it, thus forming a
   work based on the Module, and copy and distribute such
   modifications or work, providing that you conform to the
   terms and conditions of this Contract.

In 5.1, the "providing that you conform" ensures that 3.2 still applies!

The "verbatim" part of 4.2 is there to stop people patching
official executables.

>* 4.6 makes it unclear whether eg. the Debian non-free dist ("the
>whole") has to fall under this licence - the "separate works" notion
>here is not obvious: although packages may be installed independently,
>they form a whole, and the existence of the "Packages" index file used
>by the packaging system may talk _against_ parts being separate works
>- esp, the 4.7 section does not seem (to me) to apply to non-free.

4.6 and 4.7 are straight from the GNU GPL.

You can't argue that the non-free dist is "the whole" because in
that case your FREE dist is "a whole" too in which case you
have a clash between the GNUGPL and non-GNUGPL parts of your
free distribution. I assume there are non-GNUGPL parts of your
free distribution because your requirement for your free distribution
is to satisfy the ten commandments rather than a strict requirement
to actually *be* GNU GPL! But the GNU GPL cannot closely associate/link
with anything but itself.

My understanding was that 4.6 says that a closely-coupled connection
such as compilation brings two works under the FWL/GPL as a "whole",
but 4.7 says that their just being on the same medium (which may in
turn be sold etc) does not make them a "whole". My understanding
was that this means you can sell a CD-ROM containing both commercial
and FWL software, so long as it's made clear to the buyer that the
FWL software falls under the FWL. I understood that this applies to
GNU GPL software too, so that in theory, Microsoft could legally
sell a single CD-ROM containing both Windows and the GNU system.

I discussed this a while ago with a friend and he agreed that my
legal interpretation was correct, but that BY CONVENTION people
distribute GPL and non-GPL software on separate media.

Please let me know what the reality is here.

>* When you mention GNU/Linux as a Free Platform, you may want to keep
>in mind that there are commercial versions of GNU-based Linux systems
>(such as RedHat Linux and Caldera OpenLinux), which are not entirely
>composed of Open-Source branded software - IIRC, both have StarOffice
>5.1a as standard part of recent versions of their respective systems.
>So that you may like to clarify the examples and/or your acceptation
>of "Free Platform"...
>I understand that may not affect FreeVeracity, but it seems to prevent
>software under this licence to interact with non-free stuff - this may
>or may not be a problem to you.

Hmmm. Well, there's a distinction here. If software X is released under
FWL and then is modified so it can interoperate with software Y which
is commerical, then I don't think there's a problem so long as X can
actually still run without Y present.

If X and Y are communicating processes or something, I guess it
could get a bit hairier. But then I think the FWL interpretation
probably should stand in that circumstance anyway.

>* Maybe your definition of "Module" makes problem: I guess any program
>comprising a "Module" as part of the .c/.h files to be compiled and
>linked to form this program will be "a derivative work" under
>Copyright law.

Correct. Same as the GNU GPL. I think this is clear.

>So that the licence may look more permissive than it
>is to someone not acquainted to these issues.
>Maybe this is why the GPL uses "Program" as licencing unit.

Well, I think "Program" is a mistake for the GPL because the GPL
is supposed to allow code to be mixed and matched within GPL programs.

>* My personal judgment is that the `you are free to refer to such
>software as "free software"' statement may sound offensive to some
>people, given the contents of the lincence :|

OK. I suppose I should change it to "you can refer...".

>* [very minor] Not sure about exactness of the wording in 2.2 - you
>use both "the version of this Licence" and "a Free World Licence" to
>refer to similar-looking things - which not more consistent choices ?



Dr Ross N. Williams (ross@rocksoft.com), +61 8 8232-6262 (fax-6264).
Director, Rocksoft Pty Ltd, Adelaide, Australia: http://www.rocksoft.com/ 
Protect your files with Veracity data integrity: http://www.veracity.com/

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