RE: [Debian] License problems with UPX (ucl)
As there still seems to be some confusion about the license,
let me try to summarize our goals:
1) UPX and UCL are GPL. No part of the file LICENSE should
invalidate or contradict that.
2) If your compressed program is GPL compatible (like the
kernel and most Linux programs), well that's very
fine: you link GPL code with GPL compatible code, and can
make all changes/modifications/distributions as usual.
Just ignore the other parts of the file LICENSE because
they don't affect you.
3) But we also want to allow the usage of UPX for "proprietary"
or other closed source programs (mainly for the DOS/Windows
world). Without any exceptional grants this would not be
possible because of a GPL violation.
So we grant special exceptions to allow the usage under
this scenario, but there are some restrictions as well.
The main idea is to prevent virii/trojans/malicious code/
non-decompressible programs/etc. - because of the unfortunate
use of UPX for bad things this is a very real and important
To repeat: the exceptional grants only take effect when compressing
non GPL compatible programs. They grant you something (linking our code
with proprietary code), but they also require something (not changing
our code and not hacking your compressed program).
Also note that we (and only we) can make such exceptional grants as
we hold the copyright and all other intellectual rights.
I hope you get our point. Clarifications from competent people
about the wording are welcome.
On 22-Dec-2000 Eduard Bloch wrote:
> Markus F.X.J. Oberhumer wrote on Wed Dec 20, 2000 um 02:20:43PM:
>> To summarize once again:
>> Our license grants some special exceptions for UPX-compressed
>> programs *beyond* the GPL (otherwise you couldn't use UPX
>> for commercial programs).
>> All source code is strictly under the GPL.
> Exactly this is the problem! You can not pull all code under PURE GPL
> and restrict (or modify some points) later. This games modifications are
> just not accepted by Debian Legal.
>> See below for my mail I had sent to James Troup on debian-legal.
>> There was no reply.
> Regarding this mail...
>| UPX is an exe file compressor. It works by injecting
>| our decompressor stub code (which is under the GPL) into
>| every compressed executable.
> Then put it under GPL (I have allready suggested you to make it so) and
> make a hint like this:
> NOTE: the action of compressing executable files with UPX is comparable
> with linking a binary with GPL parts, e.g. with linking a program with
> libraries which are under GPL. Read the GPL to make sure if the
> compression is allowed in your case or not!
>| To accomodate for the needs of commercial users we
>| grant some special excecptions *beyond* the GPL.
> NOTE: To accomodate for the needs of commercial users we created a
> special license which applies when compressing a non-GPL file. (see
> LICENSE.UPX file)
>| But the need for requiring the use of an unmodified UPX version
>| for any proprietary programs is quite obvious - it gives
> Anyways, this is covered by LICENSE.UPX
>| *the authors* some legal background against all those unfortunate=20
>| people who misuse modified UPX versions for virii, trojans, etc.=20
>| (yes, this has happened quite a few times...).
> Sorry, "LICENSE" and "LICENSE.UPX" (the files I sent to you) forbid these
> illegal actions or contain conditions that makes it imposible to
> crackers to create trojans without breaking the law! IMHO you could add
> an additional NOTE to "LICENSE" to explain the crackers the situation,
> NOTE: GPL forbids to distribute the binary code (in any way) without
> providing the source code. So if you distribute any modified binary
> versions, you MUST provide the source for a long time, AND you must
> identify YOURSELF in a good visible place the program distribution as
> the last editor of the used UPX code, so that every person can contact
> you later and obtain the source code from you.
> Summary: the LICENSE* files I send to you contain a solutions which
> should be acceptable for you and comply with DFSG (*). Plese consider
> again about changing the current license, perhaps after adding the
> comments mentioned above.
> Eduard Bloch <firstname.lastname@example.org>; HP: http://eduard.bloch.com/edecosi
> 0xEDF008C5(GnuPG): E6EB 98E2 B885 8FF0 6C04 5C1D E106 481E EDF0 08C5
> Microsoft: Where do you want to go today?
> Linux: Where do you want to go tomorrow?
> BSD: Are you guys coming or what?
---- Markus F.X.J. Oberhumer @ http://www.oberhumer.com ----
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