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Re: Change in ispell's copyright -> nonfree?

On Mon, Dec 10, 2001 at 11:58:47PM -0500, David Coe wrote:
> Upstream ispell 3.2.x has made the following change in its copyright
> (compared to 3.1.20, which we currently distribute).
> This sounds nonfree to me; am I wrong?

Depends on how you feel about unmodifiable non-license text.  Sample the
archives of -legal for the past month or two for a variety of divergent

The bit about "offering services" being required to place a hyperlink
heads into territory uncharted by the aforementioned discussion however.

It sounds similar to the mandatory "Powered by Zope" button that was
kicked around by the Zope guys but ultimately rejected as non-free.

IMO both restrictions should be regarded as non-DFSG-free, though I
imagine that more people will agree with me about the hyperlink
restriction than the text restriction.

> If he were to change that "must" to a "should," would it then be
> DFSG-compliant?

"is encouraged to" would be even better, and if that were the language
used I would have a hard time interpreting the license as anything but

> + * 4. Any web site or other electronic service that offers ispell for
> + *    download or other electronic transfer as a separate entity, in
> + *    either source or binary form, must also include a prominent statement
> + *    indicating that information about ispell can be obtained from the
> + *    following Web site URL:
> + *     http://fmg-www.cs.ucla.edu/geoff/ispell.html
> + *    If the offering service supports hyperlinks, the aforementioned
> + *    Web site must also be offered as a hyperlink.  Condition #4 does
> + *    not apply if ispell is offered only as part of a larger, aggregated
> + *    product such as a word processor or packaged operating system.

G. Branden Robinson                |          Measure with micrometer,
Debian GNU/Linux                   |          mark with chalk,
branden@debian.org                 |          cut with axe,
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |          hope like hell.

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