Re: IMAPD license problem
On Sun, Aug 13, 2000 at 05:16:29PM -0600, Richard Stallman wrote:
> IMAPD is included in main because it has a license which people
> usually interpret as giving permission to distribute modified
Here's a copy of the license:
# Copyright 1998 by the University of Washington
# Permission to use, copy, modify, and distribute this software and its
# documentation for any purpose and without fee is hereby granted, provided
# that the above copyright notice appears in all copies and that both the
# above copyright notice and this permission notice appear in supporting
# documentation, and that the name of the University of Washington not be
# used in advertising or publicity pertaining to distribution of the software
# without specific, written prior permission. This software is made
# available "as is", and
# THE UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED,
# WITH REGARD TO THIS SOFTWARE, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION ALL IMPLIED
# WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, AND IN
# NO EVENT SHALL THE UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON BE LIABLE FOR ANY SPECIAL,
# INDIRECT OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OR ANY DAMAGES WHATSOEVER RESULTING FROM
# LOSS OF USE, DATA OR PROFITS, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT
# (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE) OR STRICT LIABILITY, ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION
# WITH THE USE OR PERFORMANCE OF THIS SOFTWARE.
If some other license applies to some or all of IMAPD then we need to
know about it. If not, I don't see that there's any copyright issue.
[If the license indicated that some sort of choice must be made between
modifying and distributing, then I'd see that there's a copyright issue
> But the University of Washington explicitly says they don't believe it
> means this. In effect, we cannot consider IMAPD as free software
> unless we are willing to dare them to sue us.
Specifically, Lori Stevens has said this. It's not clear whether she's
even read the license.
> I've included a recent message in which they clearly state they
> believe that you have to *ask* for permission to distribute a modified
> Now, it could be that they will give us permission to release
> a modified version and to permit others to modify our version.
> If so, then our version would be free even if theirs isn't,
> and that would solve the problem. It could make sense to ask
> (but it would be better not to mention my name, because the FSF
> and the UW almost had a lawsuit about this very issue for PINE).
> So I hope that Debian will move IMAPD out of main, if Debian cannot
> get permission to release a free version.
If it's true that she properly represents the authors of this software,
[which, among other things, requires that she knows what she's talking
about], then we should probably pull IMAPD out of main. Not for
copyright reasons, but to maintain good relations with the authors.
[Note that I mean "represents the authors" in a personal sense, not in
the legal sense.]
Right now, I'm dubious -- I don't see a legal issue, and I doubt there's
a personal issue.