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Re: Cactvs-license

> 1. Commercial stuff is not allowed - I'd say this is the problem of the
>    user to comply with?

Correct.  I believe there are a number of programs in non-free that
have similar restrictions.

> 2. We can't modify the files. As they are binary only, this won't be
>    much of a trouble. But can we distribute them as .deb?

I don't think so.  Does the author just provide one big, fat,
executable?  It sounds like there are other parts with an assumed
directory structure.  That would prevent you, for example, from
putting documentation in a separate place from the executables.  This
would violate Debian policy.  Also, I would take the phrase "original,
unadapted form" to mean the tar ball (or whatever), in which case even
putting that in a deb would violate the license.

However, you said that the author is resposive.  At a minimum, I think
that the paragraph

> The tool set can be distributed as part of other non-commercial program
> packages, but only in its original, unadapted form.  If anybody is
> interested in providing the tools as integrated part of another
> package, this must be negotiated.

has to go.  I don't think that special permission for Debian will
work.  Also, the phrase

> You may adapt the functionality of the program to your local needs,
> but you are forbidden to redistribute copies of the files comprising
> the software which were altered in any respect. If you add a
> valuable feature, or hunt down a bug, you are welcome to contact the
> author by email (wdi@ccc.uni-erlangen.de) and the fix or feature
> will be most certainly integrated into the one and only official
> release.

is worrisome, since that means that any security problems or serious
bugs will kick it out of Debian, even if the fix is trivial.  This is
even more pressing since you said that the project has mostly stalled.

All in all, this is just a terrible license.  Perhaps you could find
out what he really wants, and suggest a suitable, already written
license?  If he wants to be a control-freak, then we probably can't
help him.  However, if he's just worried about people stealing his
code, then the GPL should be good enough for him.  However, he may
have already considered and rejected the GPL, so be careful.

Walter Landry

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