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Re: IMAPD license problem?



On Tue, Aug 22, 2000 at 06:14:48PM -0700, Lori Stevens wrote:
> First of all, by this message you have our permission to distribute a
> modified version of IMAPD.

This part is a problem; I think it may implicitly fail clause 8 of the
Debian Free Software Guidelines.

  License Must Not Be Specific to Debian

  The rights attached to the program must not depend on the program's
  being part of a Debian system. If the program is extracted from Debian
  and used or distributed without Debian but otherwise within the terms
  of the program's license, all parties to whom the program is
  redistributed should have the same rights as those that are granted in
  conjunction with the Debian system.

More to the point, I think the practice of only extending these permissions
in the form of an email message to interested parties fails clause 7 of the
Debian Free Software Guidelines.

  Distribution of License

  The rights attached to the program must apply to all to whom the
  program is redistributed without the need for execution of an
  additional license by those parties.

(You may review the Debian Free Software Guidelines at the URL
http://www.debian.org/social_contract ).

> We confirm that we have given you permission to distribute a modified
> version of IMAPD on the condition that you assume all risks when you do
> so and agree to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless the University of
> Washington from any and all claims or damages that might arise through
> your activity related to a modified IMAPD.

This part is not a problem; waiver of warranty is the single most
invariant characteristic of free software licenses.  :)

> In order to reduce confusion and facilitate debugging, we request that
> locally modified versions, including those which are distributed, either
> be denoted by appending a letter to the current version number or that you
> in some way show that it is a derivative work in the version number.

This part is not a problem, and additionally would happen in any event, as
Debian's packaging infrastructure mandates this.

> Thanks for your interest in continuing to distribute UW's IMAPD in the
> Debian distribution.

I think UW is really quite close to an unambiguous free software license
here; if the policy of executing licenses on a case-by-case basis with
redistributors were lifted, I think the problem would be solved.
Otherwise, I think we will in fact be unable to distribute UW's IMAPD, and
should never have done so in the first place.

-- 
G. Branden Robinson             |
Debian GNU/Linux                |   The noble soul has reverence for itself.
branden@debian.org              |   -- Friedrich Nietzsche
http://www.debian.org/~branden/ |

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